See where Arthur Blank lands in The Athletic NFL owners rankings

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A person’s perspective depends on where they sit. When it comes to NFL owners, fans generally think ill of their club’s chief. That’s at least the case with Falcons fans and Arthur Blank.

The founder of Home Depot bought the club in the early 2000s and has been the shepherd of some of its brightest moments, like the entire Matt Ryan era, peaking in 2016. Moreover, there might not be a single person who has done more for Atlanta, in terms of philanthropy, than Blank.

However, some fans have an argument for not liking him. The Falcons owner is directly responsible for the ghastly cost of attending games in Mercedes-Benz Stadium; it’s created one of the worst environments in the NFL. That is my biggest gripe with Blank.

The Dome holds a significant place in my heart. From Mike Vick to Matt Ryan, opposing teams could always count on a raucous crowd and an imposing offense. That is all gone now with the new stadium.

Moreover, it’s fair to hold him somewhat responsible for some of the former regime’s missteps, like Julio Jones’ contract and their constant restructuring of Matt Ryan’s contract. Blank was Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff’s boss, so they were only doing what he wanted, but it’s why the Falcons have recorded five straight losing seasons.

With all of that being said, the Falcons owner is far better than a lot of owners around the league. Perspective is everything; it could be better, but it could be far worse. In a ranking of NFL owners, Mike Sando of The Athletic has Arthur Blank slightly above league average:

14. Arthur Blank, Atlanta Falcons: 177-172-1 (.507)

Owner since: 2002

Playoff record: 6-8 (0-1 in Super Bowls)

Coach inherited: Dan Reeves

Coaches hired: Jim Mora Jr. (26-22), Bobby Petrino (3-10), Mike Smith (66-46), Dan Quinn (43-42), Arthur Smith (20-26)

The Falcons ranked tied with New Orleans for fourth in the NFL with a 95-65 record (.594) from 2008 to 2017, the first 10 seasons of quarterback Matt Ryan’s career. They are now riding a streak of five consecutive losing seasons and are 6-6 so far in 2023, without much evidence they can bet on Desmond Ridder as their quarterback of the future.

It seems some might have taken the Matt Ryan era for granted because the Falcons were one of the most consistently successful teams during his time in Atlanta. Now, we seem to be chasing the dragon in search of the next franchise quarterback.

For all intents and purposes, Arthur Blank has been a good owner, but like with anything, there’s always room for improvement.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire


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