Matt Ryan on who will be quarterback for the Falcons next year

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Matt Ryan’s playing days may be behind him. Although, with what we’ve seen with Joe Flacco this season, you never really know. However, Ryan has found a second career rather quickly since being forced out of the league. He’s a natural as a member of the CBS broadcast team, and he was calling the game in the Falcons season finale against the Saints, which will now be known as the funeral for head coach Arthur Smith.

Not even 24 hours after the Falcons lost 48-17 to the Saints, Smith was axed, as Arthur Blank and company will go back to the hiring pool in hopes of netting better results and returning to the playoffs for the first time in seven years next season. Whoever they choose to be the next head coach could go a long way in making the postseason a reality, but nothing is going to change until the Falcons find a franchise quarterback.

As far as the direction they go, that remains to be seen. The draft features several blue chip prospects, but it may require the Falcons to move up if they want to land one. Justin Fields is a popular name among potential trade targets if the Bears select a quarterback with the 1st overall pick, and there’s a crop of veterans that could interest the Falcons, led by Baker Mayfield, Kirk Cousins, and Russell Wilson.

The Falcons aren’t in a position where Mayfield, Cousins, or Wilson is going to put them over the top. They would only be band-aids on a much bigger issue. The Falcons need to go the younger route, and the best quarterback in Atlanta franchise history agrees.

“I think it’s probably young, whether that’s trading for a young player or finding somebody in the draft,” Matt Ryan said when asked about the direction the Falcons will go this offseason at the quarterback position. “I think they go in the direction of a young player.”

The way I see it, there are only three sure-fire options in the draft — Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels. Unfortunately, all of them could be off the board in the first three picks. After those three, there are some other intriguing options like Bo Nix, JJ McCarthy, and Michael Penix Jr. However, they all have their flaws and likely won’t be ready to start for at least a year or two.

The other option, when talking about younger quarterbacks, would be Justin Fields. He’s the most logical fit if the Falcons can’t land one of the top three quarterbacks in the draft, and I expect them to be aggressive in pursuing Fields if they don’t want to pay the price necessary to move up the board.

Photo: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire

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