Matt Ryan Discusses Trade Rumors Amid Falcons Struggles: 'I Want to Be Here'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 26, 2020

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) works against the Detroit Lions during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Matt Ryan's long-term future as the Atlanta Falcons' starting quarterback is no longer secure, but he's making it clear he wants to stick around the only NFL home he's ever known. 

"I don't worry about noise outside of our building. ... I want to be here and hopefully that will be the case," Ryan told reporters Monday.

The overwhelming odds are that Ryan will be the Falcons' starter through at least the 2021 season. Releasing or trading the 2016 NFL MVP would result in a $49.9 million dead cap charge—an exorbitant sum made even more jarring by the likelihood the cap will go down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank told reporters Ryan's future will be determined by the team's next general manager:

"I love Matt, much like I love Dan, I love Thomas. 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."

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While not an MVP-caliber player, Ryan is still a capable NFL starter. He leads the NFL with 2,181 passing yards and 12 touchdowns against three interceptions. There are several reasons the Falcons are a dismal 1-6, but Ryan is nowhere near the top of that list.

It's likely the next regime will want to build around someone younger than the 35-year-old Ryan, but he'd have value for a team looking to get over the postseason hump. Any deal will probably just have to wait until after the 2021 season.