Even after Chris Mortenson essentially guaranteed that Matt Ryan would be under center for the Falcons in 2022, the speculation hasn’t ceased. I believe Mortenson’s assessment to be correct for several reasons, but Arthur Smith did say he didn’t want to back himself into a corner regarding Ryan. Intelligently, the Falcons are keeping their options open heading into the offseason. It might take an overpay, but there are several teams that are just a quarterback away from being a Super Bowl contender. If the right deal comes along, the Falcons would be fools not to consider it, at least.
Outlets have mocked trades to the Steelers, Eagles, Broncos, and several others, but this Complex Sports’ prediction of him ending up in New York is a first.
Deshaun Watson ➡️ Panthers
Matt Ryan ➡️ Giants
Baker Mayfield ➡️ Washington
Aaron Rodgers ➡️ ???
Russell Wilson ➡️ ???
Predicting where Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and Other Star QBs Play Next Season: https://t.co/jcTWnvjW8L pic.twitter.com/LtyZ8byofh
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) January 18, 2022
Here’s why they believe Ryan is a fit for the bright lights of New York:
Why the Falcons opted against eating the dead cap associated with moving Matt Ryan last year made little sense then, and looks worse now. While there are more potential suitors this offseason, Ryan’s performance dipped to a level that any interested party must be concerned he’ll be as limited as Ben Roethlisberger had been the last two years. Ryan’s lack of arm strength restricts what an offense can run.
He had been able to compensate for what has never been a great arm earlier in his career. At 36, it’s highly concerning that his touchdown rate dropped to 3.6 percent of his attempts while his yards per attempt is only 7.1. Interested teams must convince themselves their situation will be more advantageous and Ryan will flourish in a different role.
They might be correct considering the Falcons’ lack of consistent running game, defense, and receiving threats. Pittsburgh, New York Giants, Washington, Carolina, and Denver would all improve with Ryan. Despite his massive $48 million cap hit, only $16.25 million would be paid by his new team since bonuses are accelerated and paid by the trading team.
That makes him one of few veterans the Giants in particular can afford. Their new staff should avoid playing Daniel Jones at all costs in order to protect themselves, but the team has a limited pathway to even reach $30 million in cap space. That rules out all impactful starters except Ryan, Baker Mayfield, and Jimmy Garoppolo.
It also makes more sense for the Giants to avoid taking a rookie quarterback in a weak class. A smart strategy for New York might be to trade down from the No. 7 spot, acquire more assets, then use some of their new assets in a move for Ryan. This would limit the sting of giving up a top-10 pick while the Falcons get useful ammunition to chase a replacement in 2022 or 2023.
The Falcons seem hellbent on trying to improve their roster and making the playoffs next season. Like most people, I would love them to take a look in the mirror and start looking toward the future. If someone is willing to give up a first-round pick and then some for Ryan, it must be considered. The Falcons’ current roster is littered with holes, and they have little money to spend. Even the best general manager can’t put up a fight with one hand behind his back.
With that being said, I’m not the general manager. Unless something changes in the next couple of months, a trade is unlikely. The goal is clear — build around Matt Ryan in an attempt to compete for a Super Bowl in his twilight years — even if the vision is not.
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