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Desmond Ridder, Falcons Agree to Rookie Contract; Includes Signing Bonus over $1M

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 19, 2022

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Desmond Ridder agreed to his rookie contract with the Atlanta Falcons, according to ESPN's Field Yates.

Under the NFL's rookie wage scale, Ridder was entitled to sign for $5.36 million over four years. He collects a $1.08M signing bonus and will count for $975,083 against the salary cap in 2022.

Pro Football Network's Aaron Wilson provided more specifics on the deal:

Aaron Wilson @AaronWilson_NFL

Falcons signed third-round pick Desmond Ridder to four-year, $5.362 million contract that has $1.08 million signing bonus, base salaries of $705,000, $870,000, $985,000 and $1.1 million. Deal has 5th day of training camp roster bonuses: $78,771 2023, $207,542 2024, $336,313 2025

Jason_OTC @Jason_OTC

Desmond Ridder getting training camp roster bonuses as a 3rd round pick is very strong. Should add ammo for the other QBs to look for it. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Falcons?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Falcons</a>

Some thought the Cincinnati star would be a first-round pick. He was projected to go 26th overall to the Tennessee Titans in Bleacher Report's final mock draft.

Falling to the third round meant watching a significant chunk of money evaporate. Defensive end Jermaine Johnson, who was selected at No. 26 by the New York Jets, will earn $12.9 million from his rookie deal and collected a $6.6 million signing bonus.

Ridder could make that up with his next contract since the Falcons seem to be giving him a legitimate shot to succeed Matt Ryan as the long-term starter.

Head coach Arthur Smith spoke highly of how well Ridder is adjusting during a press conference in June:

"Behind the scenes, the things that he has done, as a rookie, really from the neck up. How he's operating, when we're doing the rookie walk-throughs, when we do these installations and on the field, and his command. Then you're betting on some of the physical things you see at times to catch up. He's light years ahead of most young quarterbacks, in terms of playing from the neck up. I will give him that compliment."

Marcus Mariota is likely to open the upcoming season as the starter. Should he struggle out of the gate, the calls to elevate Ridder are likely to grow.

And since Mariota's two-year contract allows Atlanta to easily move on next offseason, this might only be a marriage of convenience as Ridder grows more and more comfortable in the NFL.

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