During his discussion with the Atlanta media on Monday, Falcons owner Arthur Blank expressed that the decision making with regards to the team's roster would largely be left to whoever becomes the next general manager and head coach. He was specifically asked about quarterback Matt Ryan, and while Blank expressed his love for the 35-year-old quarterback he again said that was a decision he wasn't going to make.
That response has unsurprisingly caught the attention of many in the national media, including CBSSports.com writer Will Brinson. Brinson laid out some of a various routes the Falcons could go if they ultimately did decide for a complete change that included their quarterback.
"Flat-out cutting Ryan isn't going to happen, most likely," Brinson writes. "Although he could be designated a post-June 1 cut and it would limit the Falcons dead cap exposure in 2021. They would save $17.5 million in cap space in 2020 by releasing Ryan and making him a post-June 1 cut. More likely -- a trade. Dealing Ryan would save the Falcons $23 million in cap space next year and potentially net them some draft picks in return, depending on who is making the trade."
Falcons must be open to full rebuild following firings
Another person who noted the possibility of a full overhaul in Atlanta after Sunday's moves was NFL.com columnist Judy Battista. While she's not necessarily pushing for that to happen, she does believe it must at least be considered. She agreed with president and CEO Rich McKay's notion that the team shouldn't "tie the hands" of their new general manager and coach with the roster and not take anything off the table for them.
"The Falcons shouldn't slam the door on moving other assets, too," Battista writes. "A Miami Dolphins-style roster deconstruction might seem unappealing on paper, but teams that accumulate bountiful assets can accelerate their rebuilds with smart hiring and good draft decisions. [Julio] Jones would surely be attractive to a contending team right now. The Falcons have to at least listen if someone calls. It is trading short-term pain -- a sell-off would almost certainly torpedo interim coach Raheem Morris' chance to win the job full-time -- for the potential of long-term, sustained gain."
Atlanta cleaned house to start anew
By moving on from Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff, the Falcons are taking their franchise in a new direction. If the new people in charge don't believe a full rebuild is needed, the Falcons do have several quality players for them to build around. Riley McAtee noted as much in his piece for The Ringer.
"Whoever the team taps to take over for Dimitroff will have a similar challenge," McAtee writes. "Quinn is correct that a lot of the ingredients are right. Ryan is still one of the league's better quarterbacks. Wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley make up one of the better pass-catching duos in the NFL, especially with Ridley emerging as a bona fide star this season. Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett also made the Pro Bowl last season. Large portions of this roster need to be overhauled—including most of the defense—but this team is not tanking for Trevor Lawrence. It's looking to reload with Ryan and Co. and ultimately, the new coach and general manager Atlanta hires will have the same task: give this franchise a fresh start."
More headlines for Falcons fans
- AtlantaFalcons.com: Blank says moves are about one thing: ‘It’s called winning’
- AtlantaFalcons.com: Blank explains why Morris was right choice
- AtlantaFalcons.com: Falcons announce more coaching changes
- AtlantaFalcons.com: Morris named interim head coach
- CBSSports.com: Week 5 NFL grades
- NFL.com: What we learned from Sunday’s games
- AJC.com: Blank hopes to reset franchise on winning path
- AJC.com: Falcons’ Webster to help with personnel
- AJC.com: Falcons players supported Quinn till the end
The Atlanta Falcons have announced Raheem Morris as interim head coach.