Falcons: Not trading Matt Ryan would be a sign of gross incompetence


Before I begin what will be mostly a diatribe, I want to preface this by saying that I am the furthest thing from a The hater of Matt Ryan. He is the best thing that has ever happened to the Falcons organization – a true leader both on and off the field who has taken this organization to heights it never had before his arrival. Ryan is a Hall of Famer, and I even think he still has a few good years left that would allow him to compete for a Super Bowl on a team with a talented roster.

But that’s just it.

The Falcons don’t have a competent roster. In fact, given the recent suspension of Calvin Rileyyou could argue that Atlanta has the worst roster in the league outside of Matt Ryan.

There isn’t a single position group on the Falcons that doesn’t need work this offseason. They have no starting caliber safety. They have a corner, capable linebackers (remember, Foye Oluokun is a free agent), and a single player on the defensive line who would start on any other team in the league.

Offensively, it’s not much prettier. Apart from Jacques Matthews and Chris Lindstromthe offensive line is in shambles. Kyle Pitts is basically the only tight end on the roster. After cutting Mike Davis (probably), they don’t have a running back worth two cents, and don’t even get me started on wide receivers. Frank Darby– a sixth-round pick from last season with a career catch – is literally the only receiver listed.

The whole team is a mess, and I don’t blame the current regime. Thomas Dimitroff left the Falcons in as abysmal a position as possible. Terry Fontenot and company had no chance of putting together a championship caliber group with what they received. They deserve a bye for the team’s performance last season, but what they should be harshly criticized for is if they continue this charade any longer.

Ever since Fontenot and Arthur Smith were hired, they’ve maintained they’re trying to win now, and their moves last offseason proved they weren’t lying. Even if it was not the right decision, I commend them for trying to do their best with what they received. It wasn’t an easy choice back then, but this offseason, it couldn’t be clearer.

The Falcons have no chance — let me repeat that, zero — of competing for a Super Bowl in 2022, or 2023 for that matter. I would say they have no chance of making the playoffs either, but who knows; if absolutely every ounce of luck went their way, they could potentially fight their way into the playoffs in a weak NFC.

But what’s the point of competing for 14th place? It’s time for this organization to look in the mirror, something it hasn’t had to do in 15 years, to take a deep breath and push the rebuild button. It has to happen eventually, and there’s no better time than now.

The quarterback market is sizzling. If the Falcons seriously made Matt Ryan available, there would be at least five teams lining up to get a deal done. Ryan would easily get a first, then a few if not two firsts. Yes, there would be a lot of deaths over the next two seasons, but does it really matter when you’re not competing anyway?

With Ryan off the roster, the Falcons would have a boatload of picks, and their focus could completely turn to the future, which could get very bright, much faster than people anticipate. A Falcons without Ryan would be in contention for the No. 1 pick next season, and there are a host of top-flight quarterbacks who should be in next year’s draft. In a few years, that inevitable rebuild that we’ve been putting off for too long would be behind us, and the Falcons would be up for grabs in the NFC again.

Clinging to Ryan would only prove one thing: incompetence, a level of delusion that Calvin Ridley might even sneer at. Attaching himself to Ryan again will only ensure that the fate of this regime is the same as that of its predecessors. It’s a process that should have started last offseason, but one mistake can be overlooked. Make the same mistake twice; there is no return from that.

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