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Matt Ryan likely staying put with Atlanta Falcons this offseason

Sportsnaut
Sportsnaut
 2022-01-21

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When modern football fans think of the Atlanta Falcons, quarterback Matt Ryan is likely one of the first names that comes to mind. With the franchise since 2008, when the organization made him the third overall pick, Ryan has had a great 14-year career, including an MVP in 2016.

While Ryan is undoubtedly the greatest quarterback in franchise history, some have wondered if the Falcons would like to move on from Matty Ice after missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. Is an offseason trade on the horizon for Ryan?

Atlanta Falcons can’t afford to trade Matt Ryan

One of the biggest reasons why the Falcons likely won’t part with Matt Ryan is due to his contract. Set for a magnanimous $48.6 cap hit in 2022, trading him before June 1 brings a $40 million dead-cap hit to the Falcons’ salary.

It’s likely a chunk the organization can’t afford to pay a player who won’t even contribute to the team, if he’s off the roster entirely. The Falcons need to continue their retooling effort. Not having an experienced quarterback like Ryan with no other feasible protege on the roster, while being short $40 million isn’t a great way to build a competitive team.

There is another, much more unconventional route the team could take. If they waited until after free agency, after the draft, waiting for June 1 to pass, they could then trade Ryan, spreading the cap hit over the next two years instead of taking the hit all at once on their 2022 payroll. But, unless the Falcons already have a QB ready to take over in the starting lineup by June 1, don’t expect them to suddenly trade Ryan just months before their season begins.

Unless they want to embrace a full-blown taking effort aimed at landing a top draft pick in 2023, the Falcons are a strong bet to stick with Matty Ice once again next season.

That doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t attempt to draft and begin developing a potential replacement for Ryan in this year’s draft, but his starting spot seems secure for at least another year. Especially with how underwhelming the free agency pool for veteran quarterbacks is in 2022.

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Atlanta Falcons have no plans to trade Matt Ryan

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