Atlanta Falcons Introduce Raheem Morris as Head Coach
Getty Images

Last season, the Atlanta Falcons were held back by their quarterback play. The combination of Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke undermined many of the things the Falcons wanted to do offensively, and as a result, the team finished the season ranked 17th in yards, but 26th in points, 24th in FTN's offensive DVOA, and 26th in EPA/play, as measured by TruMedia. 

One person who knows exactly how much the quarterback play affected things is new Falcons head coach Raheem Morris, who was hired earlier this offseason to replace the fired Arthur Smith. "If we had better quarterback play I may not be standing here at the podium," Morris said.

Now, the Falcons are embarking on a search for a new QB, and Morris told CBS Sports Lead NFL Insider Jonathan Jones what he's looking for in a quarterback, as well as how the Falcons will go about finding the right player for the position.

"I don't think you can lock yourself into how that goes about it,'' Morris said. "When you're talking about -- everybody wants a great quarterback, and you don't know how they come. They come in all forms, fashions, shapes, everything that you can talk about. So, you want to go out there and find the best quarterback that fits best with you and your people and how you're building this team.

"We've got a lot of really good players on the football team: Bijan Robinson, Drake London, Kyle Pitts. And you talk about that offensive line that we got, anchored by Jake Matthews. You want to go get the best fit for your people. You want to go get the best fit for your coaches. You want to go get the best fit for our city. You want to do all of those things. There's nothing ruled out. 

"And I forgot to mention trade. Because all of those things come into play. And I know I'm all over the place with you right now, but it's good, because we've really been tedious. We've really been going through the process of how are we gonna acquire the best fit for us."

"And I know you're gonna jump all over the best fit for the city thing. I mean, I can see the excitement," he continued. "People are gonna read into those words and whatever. However they do those things, and you can't stop that. There's people that are from Atlanta, there's people from around Atlanta. You can name the mileage and how close people are, but you've got to do what's best and what's right for your team at the right time, and we won't rule out anything."

Morris is certainly correct that people will jump all over that statement. Especially given that Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields is on the trade block. Fields was born and raised in Kennesaw, Georgia, which is a suburb of Atlanta (it's about 25 miles from Mercedes-Benz Stadium), and began his collegiate career at the University of Georgia before transferring to Ohio State. Fields also shares similarities in skill set with former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, which could also qualify him as a "best fit" for the city, depending on how far you are willing to stretch the interpretation.

The Falcons own the No. 8 overall pick in the draft, so they could also be in position to move up the board for their quarterback of choice in the draft. Thanks to the higher-than-projected 2024 salary cap of $255.4 million, the Falcons also have approximately $32.8 million in cap room to play with, according to Over the Cap. So, there are numerous ways they can acquire the player they identify as the one they need under center. And like Morris said, they're not ruling any of those avenues out.