Matt Ryan Says He Won't Be 'Standoffish' If Falcons Draft QB in 1st Round

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2021

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) before an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Jason Behnken/Associated Press

Atlanta Falcons star Matt Ryan may not roll out the red carpet, but he won't give a rookie quarterback the cold shoulder if the team targets that position early in the 2021 NFL draft.

Ryan said Wednesday on 680 The Fan in Atlanta: "Part of being a team is you're going to be a good teammate and help where you can, and you also have the personal responsibility of trying to be the best player you can be. ... My personality is not to be standoffish with anybody else."

Jeff Schultz @JeffSchultzATL

Matt Ryan on 680-AM: https://t.co/7opuSprLM8

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported the general expectation is for Ryan to remain in Atlanta for the 2021 season:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

From Super Bowl Live: Amidst a crazy offseason for QBs, don't expect the #Falcons' Matt Ryan to go anywhere. @nflnetwork https://t.co/8AWQ1kmE7i

Just as the Detroit Lions have lined up a trade sending Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams, many wondered whether the Falcons hiring a new head coach (Arthur Smith) and general manager (Terry Fontenot) would coincide with an overall reset. That would mean building around a new, younger quarterback.

Ryan's contract makes moving him unfeasible this offseason, though. Per Spotrac, trading him before June 1 would trigger $44.4 million in dead money and cost $3.5 million in salary-cap space.

The financial hit is a little less harsh with a post-June 1 trade ($23 million in cap savings and dead money of $17.9 million in 2021 and $26.5 million in 2022). By then, teams will probably have their quarterback situations settled.

That sets up what could potentially be a tricky dynamic if the Falcons front office and coaching staff do in fact want to use the No. 4 pick on a signal-caller. NFL.com's Bucky Brooks projected Atlanta to select BYU star Zach Wilson.

The Green Bay Packers have so far avoided any major drama stemming from their decision to trade up and take Jordan Love in the 2020 draft. Aaron Rodgers reached out to Love shortly after the first round, and he didn't go out of his way to make the rookie's life difficult.

Ryan doesn't necessarily have to like the decision if the Falcons' mimic Green Bay's succession plan, but it's important he accepts the outcome. And it appears the 35-year-old is willing to do just that.

And if a high-profile QB does arrive this offseason, Ryan has a strong incentive to perform well to impress any possible trade suitors.


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