Falcons: Could this Matt Ryan trade with the Broncos work for both teams?

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The Falcons’ most significant offseason decisions will revolve around Matt Ryan and Grady Jarrett. Both contracts will require attention, regardless of the manner.

Jarret has one year left on the four-year $68 million contract he signed in 2019, and his cap jumps from $20.8 million to $23.8 million in 2022. The Falcons could extend or trade him. Moving him before the 2022 season would save the team  $16.5 million, given his $7.3 million dead cap figure. The Falcons can also add void years to his contract to lessen the immediate burden of Jarrett leaving too.

Likewise, Matt Ryan’s contract has to be addressed. Trading him will be a conversation all offseason, and ESPN’s Bill Barnwell projected an interesting deal between the Broncos and Falcons.

“Landing on Ryan would be a fallback plan for the Broncos, who might think they’re Super Bowl contenders with a good quarterback,” Barnwell wrote last week. “For cap reasons, the Falcons probably have to wait to make this trade until after June 1, when they can spread the $40.5 million in dead money they’ll create with a Ryan deal over the 2022 and 2023 caps. With that being the case, Denver can’t trade its 2022 first-rounder. If Ryan were dealt before June 1 for picks in the 2022 draft, he would more likely fetch a pick in the 33-to-42 range.”

First and foremost, Barnwell specified the Broncos trading a 2023 first-round pick for Ryan with a post-June 1 designation, which has holes. Unless the two front offices came to an understanding to work out this specific designation prior to agreeing to the deal, it would be unlikely. June 1 is so late in the offseason that it is rare for quarterback-needy teams to still be searching for a guy unless there is a catastrophic injury.

That isn’t to say that Terry Fontenot and George Paton can’t come to an understanding for the trade to work out. Ryan’s enormous cap figures of $48.6 million and $43.6 million for 2022 and 2023 will have to be fully absorbed for any trade to be accepted by Atlanta. Denver has the cap space to facilitate the trade, and they could easily move on from Teddy Bridgewater and keep Drew Lock to develop behind Ryan.

A backroom deal would likely have to take place before June 1st, but there is no reason this trade can’t get done. The Falcons would get out from a bloated contract while acquiring a first-round pick to bolster a lackluster roster. I don’t necessarily think the Falcons could get much more than one first-round pick in exchange for Ryan, but if a team is desperate enough, it will behoove Fontenot to pry a couple of decent starting-caliber players in addition to the draft capital. Ryan’s contract may prevent that, though.



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