It is a new era in Falcons football. After 14 seasons, Atlanta will have a quarterback other than Matt Ryan taking snaps from center. Marcus Mariota is an apparent bridge quarterback, but he’ll have some unfillable shoes to step into first. Following the greatest player in franchise history in any sport is difficult, which is what Mariota will be (somewhat) up against. Obviously, nobody expects him to be the guy; however, he’ll inevitably be compared to Ryan.
The Falcons were always going to have to move on from Ryan, but the way it happened just doesn’t feel right. It wasn’t that Ryan couldn’t get it done anymore; the organization failed him by not being able to surround him with an adequate roster.
Ryan now gets a chance in Indy to take a talented roster to the playoffs and compete for a Super Bowl. He’ll get a couple of cracks at it because his current contract runs through the 2023 season. Depending on how the final few years of his career go, Ryan will have a real shot at hearing his name called in Canton. At least one former NFL GM believes Ryan’s a Hall of Famer.
"I'm really proud of what he's done."
Talked to former #Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff just a few hours ago. Fantastic conversation from the man that drafted Matt Ryan. More from our conversation at 11 on @11AliveNews
"I think he is a hall of fame QB and he earned it all." pic.twitter.com/19dlzzbn9O
— Maria Martin (@Ria_Martin) March 21, 2022
Now, obviously, Dimitroff is biased. His tenure in Atlanta is directly tied to Ryan’s. Both entered the organization in 2008 as Ryan was Dimitroff’s very first pick as GM of the Falcons. It would make Dimitroff look better if Ryan eventually made it into Canton.
There’s an argument to be had for Ryan as a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback, but it’s not today. I don’t see the value in arguing over something like this when his career isn’t even finished. But with a couple of good seasons in Indianapolis before he retires, a debate won’t even be needed.
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