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Falcons QB Marcus Mariota 'Quit' on Team, NFL Agent Says

After being benched in favor of rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder, an NFL agent has criticized former Atlanta Falcons' starter Marcus Mariota for quitting on his team.

The Atlanta Falcons have not had Marcus Mariota with the team since his last start against the Pittsburgh Steelers. His sudden absence has drawn criticism.  

"I thought Mariota quit on the Falcons," an NFL agent said. "And it was unfair to a rookie like Desmond Ridder, who was there for Mariota to that point in the season," the agent revealed in an interview with The Athletic's Mike Sando

When the change at quarterback was made, head coach Arthur Smith revealed Mariota was dealing with a knee injury. That knee injury later forced him onto the Injured Reserve. 

It was the first we heard of the veteran quarterback dealing with any issue, as he had started in all of the Falcons' first 13 games. But after the Falcons had lost two straight games, both of which saw late Mariota interceptions end any hopes of a comeback. 

Since the benching of Mariota, rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder has stepped up to the plate. Despite his first start drawing mixed reviews as he didn't even break the 100 yards passing benchmark, his next two starts looked to be an improvement. 

In the losing effort against the Baltimore Ravens on the road, Ridder completed 22 of his 33 passes for 218 yards. While against the Arizona Cardinals, his efficiency helped the Falcons break a four-game losing streak.

While Mariota has been away from the team, he did make sure to reach out to his successor after Ridder's first career start.

Ridder and the Falcons will play their final game of the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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