Former Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan has settled into his role with the Atlanta Falcons and for the most part has been very successful. At 35 years old, he's an NFL MVP, made the Pro Bowl four times, and has thrown for over 55,000 yards during his career. He even brought his team to the Super Bowl, a game many Falcons fans don't want to think about.
But a series of organizational moves might shake up his career in 2021. In the middle of the 2020 season, Atlanta fired head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff. The Falcons looked listless after a disastrous start to the season, losing games that they controlled and playing poorly down the stretch. With the season over, the organization has yet to make a hire at either position, but there is a possibility that the two new leaders might want to push the organization in a different direction. One that does not include signal caller Matt Ryan.
Moving on from Ryan won't be easy. He is owed a lot of money, with cap hit of around $40 million dollars each of the next two seasons. Those kind of numbers might push away any potential suitor. And given his cap hit, Atlanta probably won't get much in return in a trade for Ryan.
On top of that Atlanta couldn't just outright cut him, because the dead cap money would be astronomical which would deeply impact their ability to move on.
"I think I'm here," Ryan said after Sunday's game. "I feel like I can be a really good football player for this team for a long time but no one knows. You never know in this league what can happen, but I feel good about it."
But Atlanta gets the fifth pick in the NFL Draft and there are some great options at quarterback that could fall to the Falcons including Ohio State's Justin Fields, North Dakota's Trey Lance and BYU's Zach Wilson. And even with the cap hit, there are teams out there that might take a chance with two years of Ryan. A team like the New England Patriots are in dire need of a quarterback, and have the cap room. Could Bill Belichick do some of his signature finagling with Ryan's contract to make it work?
Whatever happens with Matt Ryan, 2021 will be vastly different than previous years for the veteran signal caller. Either he sticks with the Falcons and a new regime, or he finds a new home for the first time in his career. Stay tuned, it could be a big offseason down to Atlanta.
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