Arthur Blank reiterates that Matt Ryan, Julio Jones may not be back

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As the Falcons search for a new General Manager and head coach, owner Arthur Blank continues to send the message that the incoming hires won’t be bound to quarterback Matt Ryan and receiver Julio Jones.

“What I think is important, most important, is that we hire people who are, number one, the very best at their jobs,” Blank recently said during a season-ending press conference. “That goes without saying. Who will come forward with a plan for us to have a championship team, a competitive team, et cetera. And that may include Matt and Julio for now, for the next two years, three years, or may not. I have no idea.”

After the firing of coach Dan Quinn and G.M. Thomas Dimitroff, Blank made it clear that there’s no guarantee Ryan will return in 2021.

“Matt’s been a franchise leader for us,” Blank said at the time. “A great quarterback. One of the leading quarterbacks in the last 13 years in the NFL. So I hope he’s gonna be part of our plans going forward. But that will be a decision that I won’t make.”

Last month, CEO Rich McKay attached strings to the ability to move on from Ryan and/or Jones.

Give us a plan,” McKay said. “Show us what you want to do and show us why. Show us how this gets us to Ws and make sure you actually execute the plan.”

So while Blank seems willing to defer the judgment to the new G.M. and coach, McKay seems to be willing to reserve the right to object in the event the “plan” for winning without them isn’t persuasive. That plan will include building a roster around a cap charge of $44 million (the cap number for keeping him would be $40.9 million). For Jones, the cap charge to trade him would be $23.25 million; the cap charge to keep him would be $23.05 million.

As candidates interview for both jobs, it becomes critical to know precisely whether they’ll have the discretion to move Ryan and/or Jones, whether McKay will be able to veto it, and/or whether McKay will roll his eyes at Blank if they handle that or any other decision in a way he wouldn’t.

Actually, they should assume the last part to be true. And those candidates, frankly, should before accepting jobs in Atlanta look for jobs elsewhere that give them a straight shot to ownership, with no one else in position to approve or to undermine the decisions that they make in the best interests of the team.

13 responses to “Arthur Blank reiterates that Matt Ryan, Julio Jones may not be back

  1. That will be good for Washington with that defense we got a legit quarterback and wife receiver like Julio to go alone with terry that will be dangerous

  2. There are at least 283 reasons to keep these great members of the failcons. Also, keep Gurley, do not trade that stud.

    Signed
    Saints Fan

  3. Hard to let go of guys like that, but sooner or later you have to. Take a look at the Falcons record for the last few seasons; it’s time for a total rebuild.

  4. This job was more attractive several years ago. With the contracts they have on the books it may take 2-3 drafts to rebuild there.

  5. Ryan can be successful with the right team, but the Falcons don’t have the time or resources to build around him. The cap implications will kill them in the short term, but they might as well tank a year before starting to invest in anything anyway.

  6. So basically if this happens, Brees does retire, Panthers got nothing, then the NFCS will go through Tampa for the next several years….
    I am hoping the Falcons get it fixed and the next few years we will see them and the Bucs battle for the division..

  7. I get Ryan, Stafford and Carr wanting to stay with the teams that drafted them but if you aint winning, time to go to teams that can.

  8. I don’t see how they can. Between the two of those guys they’d take a $90M cap hit. Yeah, that’s right….$90M. Ryan’s would be nearly $50M and Jones’ would be nearly $40M. How do you move those guys?

  9. Actually, that $90M is dead money. The cap hit would only be $9M for Ryan and $15.5M for Jones. That’s doable but the dead money figure is astronomical.

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