March 18, 2021 –
BY BUCK BELUE
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – So, the new Falcons restructured Matt Ryan’s contract, in order to get under the NFL salary cap. Sounds like they spread $21M over the next three years into a signing bonus, which saved roughly $14M against the cap right now.
Let’s read the Tea Leaves together…
The finances point to Matt Ryan being the Falcons quarterback the next 2-3 years.
Fontenot made the right move here. Get rid of Matty Ice and you go straight into a rebuild, handcuffed by dead money & stuck with a rookie quarterback. No chance to win or make a good first impression (or maybe even keep the job).
Sticking with Matt Ryan at least gives Fontenot and Coach Smith a chance to win immediately. But they better get Matt Ryan some help quick.
Arthur Smith can help protect Matt better two ways. Scheme it. And run it.
It’s tough to spin it, laying on your back. Get the protection cleaned up, so he’s not sacked forty times this season.
I’m encouraged that Coach Smith is a former offensive lineman. He wants to run the ball effectively. Running the ball would help Matt Ryan tremendously. Remember all those explosive plays Matt was getting under Shanahan, off run-action fakes?
Let’s get the run game going, again. Fontenot has got to get this team a quality running back in this draft. Najee Harris would sure look good in a Falcons uniform. Travis Etienne too. Or maybe one of those other dudes a little later in the draft.
Protect him better and give him a run game to work off of and Matt Ryan gives the new Falcons a Top 10 quarterback performance level over the next 2-3 years.
The Matt Ryan restructuring was a good get by Zach Klein. I sure hope the next bit of info leaked to Zach will be this: Fontenot is trading out of the #4 spot in the first round, moving back to accumulate more draft picks.
It would make no sense to draft at quarterback at 4. What would make sense is to trade back and accumulate more picks. Right now, we need players at multiple positions and they are not coming in free agency.
Maybe move back and still get the top defender in the draft, Kyle Pitts or a gifted running back! Kick that QB thing down the road, just like they have done with Matt’s contract.
I do love the idea of Matt Ryan going out a winner here in Atlanta. He is the most accomplished player in Falcons history. Get him some help and give him a shot to lead us back to the playoffs, in his final three years.
That appears to be what the new Falcons are trying to do. And I applaud that!