The Falcons have a bevy of critical decisions to make this offseason regarding the future of the organization, and none of them are more important than the one surrounding Matt Ryan. The veteran QB has two years remaining on his contract and is scheduled to count for over $48 million against the cap next season, which is nearly 25% of all the money the Falcons have available. There are ways for Terry Fontenot and company to reduce that money, like through a restructure or an extension, but NFL Network’s Steve Wyche recently reported that Ryan’s contract is the last thing the Falcons would touch in order to make more cap room.
That is because they don’t want to commit to Ryan past this season. Despite the kind words Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith have used when describing Ryan’s play and leadership, they don’t seem certain that he can lead this team for several more years. If they did, restructuring or extending him would be a no-brainer. It’s the easiest way for the Falcons to save a large chunk of money. I still believe there’s a chance Atlanta ends up doing one or the other, but when it comes to Ryan’s future, everything is on the table, including a trade.
Arthur Smith says the #Falcons like Matt Ryan and he "knows how we feel about him", but if they received "an offer we can't refuse" they'd certainly consider it.
— Kevin Knight (@FalcoholicKevin) March 1, 2022
Trading Ryan would signal a total roster overhaul. The Falcons would officially be in complete rebuild mode. Given the amount of money they would have to eat in a potential Ryan trade, it would be nearly impossible for them to put a watchable product on the field for a couple of seasons, let alone a roster that can compete for the playoffs.
The focus would shift to drafting and developing. Any team attempting to trade for Ryan, and there will be no shortage of suitors, would have to part ways with several picks. I’m not sure what would be enough to intrigue Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith, but I imagine two firsts would be too good for the Falcons’ brass to pass up. Will they receive that offer? That remains to be seen, but there are plenty of QB needy teams around the league that could potentially pique Atlanta’s interest.