Yesterday, I broke down a potential 49ers trade for Aaron Rodgers.
Now let's do Matt Ryan.
Both Ryan and Rodgers fall into a class of veteran quarterbacks who could be too expensive for their current teams next season, because the salary cap will go down. Rodgers will take up roughly 20 percent of the Packers cap space in 2021, while Ryan will take up roughly 23 percent of the Falcons cap space. Yikes.
Ryan will be 36 next season, and the Falcons have the fourth pick in the upcoming draft. Plus they have a new head coach -- Arthur Smith. So it's possible the Falcons would like to draft a quarterback, unload Ryan's contract and rebuild.
But the Falcons can't trade Ryan until the summer. Because if they trade him before June 1, they'd take on more than $44 million in dead cap space. If they trade him after June 1, they'd take less than $18 million in dead cap space. A difference of $26 million. Big deal.
So here's what the 49ers can do. They can trade Jimmy Garoppolo back to the New England Patriots, draft the best offensive lineman available with their 2021 first-round pick, draft the best quarterback available with their 2021 second-round pick, and then in the summer trade their 2022 second-round pick to the Falcons for Ryan. And he would cost the 49ers $23 million in 2021 and $24 million in 2022. And then the young quarterback could take over as the starter in 2023.
And if the 49ers want to get their 2022 first-round pick back, they always can trade Deebo Samuel for a No. 1 after next season.
Seems like the 49ers can get Ryan if they want him.
And they should want him. He would be a big-time upgrade over Garoppolo.