Arthur Blank Opened The Door For The Falcons To Move On From Matt Ryan
The Atlanta Falcons have become a sneaky team to land the number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, as they have fired general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn. The Falcons are currently 0-5 with zero signs of life. Suddenly, Matt Ryan’s question seems relevant. Will the Falcons move on from their starting quarterback?
Team owner Arthur Blank talked about the team’s struggles today. While Blank showed great admiration for Ryan, it’s clear that the next gm-coach will decide his fate. Blank will not step on the toes to keep Ryan if the staff does not agree.
“I love Matt, much like I love Dan, I love Thomas,” Blank said. “Matt’s been a franchise leader for us, great quarterback; one of the leading quarterbacks in the last 13 years in the NFL. I hope he’s going to be part of our plans going forward. But that will be a decision that I won’t make.
“Matt has the ability to play at a very high level, even at this age. Whether that’s going to continue or not, I’m not sure. I appreciate his willingness to consider doing that and the level at what he’s played for us for 13 years, which has been incredible. So we’ll have to see. But then again, that’s going to be a decision, at the end of the day, that part of it will be up to the player; part of it will be up to the coaching staff. And whether or not Matt can keep himself together. God willing, he’ll be able to do that and play at the level that he’s capable of playing at.”
Blank did not indicate the Falcons were looking to move on from Matt Ice. However, he also did not refer to Ryan as a Falcon for life either. Notice how Blank said he loved Quinn and Dimitroff but fired both of them midseason. Ryan feels far from untouchable at this point.
Ryan has been with the Falcons for 13 years since they selected him in the first round of the draft from Boston College. Ryan is amid a five-year extension that was signed in May of 2018. Moving on from Ryan in 2021 could be easier said than done. The 35-year-old carries a dead cap hit of $50M of dead cap next season.
If the Falcons are in a position to draft someone like Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields, they’re going to pick that person. The Falcons are very much in the running along with the two New York teams. Raheem Morris will finish the season as the interim coach. If Morris doesn’t find a way to win a few games, Ryan could very well be on his way out of Atlanta.