Despite completing a fourth straight losing season Sunday, Atlanta Falcons veteran quarterback Matt Ryan is hoping to be back with the team next year.
"I want to be here and I believe in this team and our coaching staff, I think, did a great job," Ryan told reporters after Atlanta's 30-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported earlier Sunday that the expectation is Ryan will return next season. Mortensen noted that Falcons first-year head coach Arthur Smith "made it clear" to team owner Arthur Blank and general manager Terry Fontenot that Ryan is his preferred quarterback for next year.
However, Smith was noncommittal when he spoke about Ryan after Sunday's game.
"Matt knows how we feel about him," Smith told reporters. "But you're not going to get a hot take from me today to back ourselves into a corner...we do a fair evaluation top to bottom."
Ryan finished the year with 3,968 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He started all 17 games but threw for fewer than 4,000 yards for the first time since 2010, his third season in the NFL.
Ryan surpassed Eli Manning for ninth place on the NFL's all-time passing touchdown list on Sunday when he threw a one-yard score to Russell Gage late in the fourth quarter. It was Ryan's 367th touchdown pass.
Atlanta finished the year in third place in the NFC South with a 7-10 record.