Report: Matt Ryan and Falcons’ brass feel he has “several good years left”

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Before last month’s draft, many around the Falcons organization were clamoring for Trey Lance or Justin Fields to be brought in with the fourth pick to replace Matt Ryan. Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith decided that taking Kyle Pitts outweighed any trade offer they received. Now, the future is clear… Ryan will be the future quarterback in Atlanta for at least the next couple of years. Per Tyler Conway, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on Sunday that they [Falcons] would be comfortable with Ryan as their quarterback past 2021.

[Matt Ryan] has told multiple people close to him, in and around the Falcons, that he feels he has several good years left, that he can still play at a high level. So, the Falcons did extensive homework on Trey Lance and the other quarterbacks that they considered with the fourth overall pick. But they believe, and they’re totally comfortable rolling with Matt Ryan for this year, possibly longer. They feel they have weapons, Kyle Pitts now, a quarterback-friendly system with new coach Arthur Smith and it should be an improved defense. So, this is a team they feel they’ll be on the rise and Ryan will be better-positioned to have more success.

The reality is that quarterbacks can play at a high level later into their careers in today’s NFL for various reasons. Modern rules protecting quarterbacks, medical advancements, and quarterback-friendly systems all maximize a player’s longevity. Arthur Smith’s offense is special, and Ryan Tannehill proved it in Tennessee. The Titans were one of the most high-powered offenses in football, led by Tannehill, who was once considered a bust.

Ryan is a superior quarterback to Tannehill, and with Pitts, the surrounding pieces are as good as they possibly could be. Aaron Rodgers proved that it is possible a couple of years ago. Many people around the NFL were writing Rodgers off after the firing of Mike McCarthy, then Matt LaFleur brought a quarterback-friendly system to Green Bay, and Rodgers won an MVP in his second season with LaFleur.

Though Ryan isn’t Rodgers, he’s won an MVP in a similarly friendly system and can certainly execute Smith’s offense as effectively as Tannehill. What Fowler mentioned during the end of his report is what’s going to be the deciding factor of this team…  defense. If Dean Pees can even field an average unit with the personnel the Falcons have, it’ll be considered a success. The Falcons may finish second in the division if that question is answered because the offense will put enough points on the board to win.

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