Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Monday that Schaub will retire from professional football, Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. After playing in a lone game with the Falcons during the 2020 season, Schaub will call an end to his 16-year NFL career. The 39-year-old began his career in 2004 in Atlanta as a backup to Michael Vick before being traded to the Texans in 2007, when he received his first opportunity to become a full-time starter. He went on to earn two Pro Bowl nods with the Texans, then moved on to the Raiders and Ravens for one year apiece before returning to Atlanta and spending the past five seasons as Matt Ryan's understudy. Schaub concludes his career with 25,467 passing yards, 136 touchdowns and 91 interceptions to go with four scores on the ground.
Schaub has secured a spot on the Falcons' 53-man roster as he enters his fifth season as Matt Ryan's backup, Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The 39-year-old signal-caller reportedly showed signs of rust during the early stages of an atypical offseason program, but he ultimately rounded into form and demonstrated enough to return for another year as the No. 2 quarterback. In beating out Kurt Benkert for the role, Schaub seems likelier yet to close out his NFL career in the same place it began in 2004. Schaub showed during 2019 that he still can deliver despite 15-plus years of NFL tread on the tires. When called upon for a spot start Week 8 against Seattle as Ryan sat out with an ankle injury, he completed 75 percent of his passes while throwing for 460 yards.
Schaub has gotten out to a shaky start to training camp and has been "frequently throwing behind receivers," D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Atlanta elected to pick up Schaub's $2 million option in February, but Ledbetter reports that the veteran's performance has been so off to this point in camp, that the team may be forced to look at another second-string option. Schaub's rust may be the result of a slow ramp up to full-contact practices, but the team does have a cheaper, albeit largely unproven alternative at its disposal in the 25-year-old Kurt Benkert. Moving to Benkert as the backup prematurely could prove to be ill advised, however, as Schaub was capable of throwing for 460 yards and a touchdown against Seattle during his lone start of 2019.
Schaub is expected to have his $2 million option picked up by the Falcons, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports. The 38-year-old signal-caller logged his first Falcons start since 2005 when he took the ball Week 8 against Seattle, with Matt Ryan sitting out due to an ankle injury. In Ryan's relief that day Schaub put up 460 yards passing and completed 26 of 31 pass attempts in the second half as Atlanta rebounded from a 24-0 deficit to lose by just seven points, 27-20. Still capable of keeping his team competitive despite having 16 years of NFL tread on his tires, Schaub is expected to remain in the Atlanta QB room for 2020.
Schaub completed 50 of 67 pass attempts for 580 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in six appearances -- including one start -- during the 2019 season. The 38-year-old signal-caller threw a first-half interception and saw his team fall into a 24-0 hole during his lone start of 2019, but he led the Falcons back to within striking distance before eventually absorbing a 27-20 loss to Seattle. Schaub is under contract for one more season, but third-year quarterback Kurt Benkert could give him competition for the backup job in 2020.
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