Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is the second-youngest starter in the NFC South. But that’s only because two of the others are in their 40s.
Ryan, the 2016 NFL MVP, enters his thirteenth NFL season at the age of 35. How much longer does he want to play?
“I’d like to chase those guys,” Ryan said on #PFTPM, regarding Brees and Brady. “I feel good. My body feels good. I’m still as excited about this as ever. I still feel like I’m playing really good football. And I feel like my best is still in front of me. I’ll take it one day at a time for sure. I’m doing everything I can to ensure that I can play as long as I can go. And so I’m excited about that. Hopefully, I can be 43 and sitting here having this same interview with you about being excited for an upcoming season.”
Given the fact that plenty of franchise quarterbacks have finished their careers elsewhere (and that it seems to be coming for Aaron Rodgers), has Ryan considered the possibility that his desire to play with outlast the team’s desire to have him play for the Falcons?
“I’ll get there when I get there,” he said. “At this point I haven’t had that feeling. I haven’t had that come up or that situation in front of me. But everybody’s career arc is different, right? And everybody’s career goes in different directions. And so one of the things I’ve think I’ve learned along the way is to worry about today, worry about this year and this season and worry about the next one next year. And go from there. So we’ll cross that bridge if and when we get there.”
This year, the Falcons potentially benefit from having so much focus on the Saints and Buccaneers. Given their 6-2 finish to the 2019 season, the arrow could be pointing up for a team with plenty of continuity and expectations lower than maybe they should be.