Falcons: Not trading Matt Ryan would be a sign of gross incompetence

ryan falcons 2020

Before I start what will mostly be a rant, I want to preface this by saying I’m the furthest thing from a Matt Ryan hater. He’s the best thing that has ever happened to the Falcons organization — a true leader both on and off the field that has led this organization to heights it had never reached before he arrived. Ryan belongs in the Hall of Fame, and I even think he still has a few good years left that would allow him to compete for a Super Bowl on a team with a talented roster.

But that’s just it. 

The Falcons don’t have a competent roster. In fact, in light of the recent suspension of Calvin Ridley, you could make the argument Atlanta has the worst roster in the league outside of Matt Ryan.

There isn’t a single position group on the Falcons that doesn’t need work this offseason. They don’t have a starting-caliber safety. They have one corner, one-ish competent linebackers (remember, Foye Oluokun is a free agent), and a single player on the defensive line that would start on any other team in the league.

Offensively, it’s not much prettier. Outside of Jake Matthews and Chris Lindstrom, the offensive line is in shambles. Kyle Pitts is essentially the only tight end on the roster. After they cut Mike Davis (likely), they don’t have a running back worth two nickels, and don’t even get me started on the wide receivers. Frank Darby—a sixth-round pick from last season with one career catch—is literally the only rostered receiver.

The entire team is a mess, and I don’t blame the current regime. Thomas Dimitroff left the Falcons in as abysmal of a position possible. Terry Fontenot and company had no chance of building a championship-caliber group with what they were handed. They deserve a pass for how the team performed last season, but what they should be criticized harshly for is if they continue this charade any longer.

Ever since Fontenot and Arthur Smith were hired, they’ve maintained they are trying to win now, and their moves last offseason proved they weren’t lying. Even if it wasn’t the right decision, I commend them for attempting to do the best with what they were given. It wasn’t an easy choice then, but this offseason, it couldn’t be more clear.

The Falcons have zero—let me repeat that, zero—chance of competing for a Super Bowl in 2022, or 2023 for that matter. I would argue that they don’t have a chance of making the playoffs either, but who knows; if absolutely every shred of luck went their way, they could potentially stumble their way into the postseason in a weak NFC.

But what’s the point in competing for 14th place? It’s time for this organization to take a look in the mirror, something they haven’t had to do in 15 years, take a deep breath and hit the rebuild button. It has to happen eventually, and there’s no better time than now.

The market for quarterbacks is sizzling. If the Falcons were to seriously make Matt Ryan available, there would be at least five teams lining up to make a deal. Ryan would easily fetch a first and then some–if not two firsts. Yes, there would be plenty of dead cap over the next two seasons, but does that really matter when you’re not competing anyways?

With Ryan off the roster, the Falcons would have a boatload of picks, and their focus could completely turn toward the future, which could get very bright, much quicker than people anticipate. A Ryan-less Falcons would be in the running for the #1 pick next season, and there are a bevy of top-flight quarterbacks set to be in next year’s draft. In a few years, this inevitable rebuild that we’ve been putting off for too long would be behind us, and the Falcons would once again be contenders in the NFC.

Hanging on to Ryan would only prove one thing—incompetence, a level of delusion Calvin Ridley could even snicker at. By attaching themselves to Ryan again, it will only ensure the fate of this regime is the same as their predecessors. This is a process that should have begun last offseason, but one mistake can be forgotten. Making the same error twice; there’s no coming back from that.




Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: