Futures of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones remain undecided in Atlanta

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The Falcons made it clear after the firing of coach Dan Quinn and G.M. Thomas Dimitroff that the next coach and G.M. will have a major voice in determining the futures of key players like quarterback Matt Ryan and receiver Julio Jones.

New coach Arthur Smith recently explained in a video visit with PFT that assessments of both cornerstone players, along with the rest of the roster, have not been made.

“No decision with personnel has been made right now,” Smith said. “It’s just so early. . . . We’re just not gonna make any snap judgments. There is a long process. We’ve got to get in here with staffs. We’ve got to go through every guy on this roster. And we’re gonna take our time. There’s no decision that has to be made today. It’s not Matt and Julio, it’s every player on this roster.”

Owner Arthur Blank has said that Ryan will have a role in deciding his future, leaving the door open for a divorce initiated by the player, not by the team. In speaking with Ryan, has Arthur Smith gotten the impression that Ryan wants to stay?

“I don’t want to speak for Matt,” Smith said. “We’ve had good conversations. And I’ve got a ton of respect for Matt. I know what Matt’s about, the people that work with him. These conversations are ongoing, but I’ll never speak for one of my players. I’ll tell them, ‘You’ve got to speak for yourself.'”

The salary cap, which some believe will be $180 million in 2021, looms over both Ryan and Jones. Ryan has a cap number of $40.9 million. Of that amount, $17.9 million arises from past bonuses and restructurings. Trading him would add another $26.5 million to that total.

Thus, barring an extension that reduces Ryan’s 2021 cap number, the Falcons will carry a charge in excess of $40 million, whether he’s on the team or not. For Jones, the cap number will be in excess of $23 million, whether on the team or not.

That’s more than $63 million for two players. If the cap does indeed drop to $180 million, that leaves $117 million for the rest of the roster. Thus, either way, it will be a challenge for the Falcons to be as competitive as they can be in 2021.

16 responses to “Futures of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones remain undecided in Atlanta

  1. Arthur Smith & Arthur Blank….even Dudley Moore knows that the 2 Arthur’s are in a financial bind left by Thomas “don’t call me Arthur” Dimitroff.

  2. Time to push the restart button in Atlanta. Sooner or later you have to make decisions purely based on recent results.

  3. upon hearing this news julio Jones pulled a hamstring and began plotting next year’s holdout…..

  4. This is an easy decision….if ATL wants to ever win then they go. My guess is they stay, but hey as a Bucs fan I welcome that.

  5. I predict last place in the division for the Falcons next year whether they have Ryan and Jones or not.

    While still a great player, Julio is often injured the past few years and his lack of availability cannot be ignored. Ryan is still effective and does not miss a game.

    Trade Julio, keep Ryan, and draft somebody in a lower round to be his replacement.

  6. Niners could use both of them but probably not their salaries.

    Atlanta needs to be looking at asset acquisitions and potential salary cap rollovers at this point. If either of these players are on the 2021 roster, Atlanta is falling behind.

    It takes patience. Everyone is in a rush to be a 10-6 team.

  7. If they were to cut Ryan they’d have nearly $50M in dead money and it would eat up $9M of the cap. For Julio those numbers are $38.5M and $15.55M.

    They might be able to find trade partners for both though and that should reduce the hit against the cap. Both have very reasonable salaries due to their gigantic signing bonuses so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a team to take a chance on them.

  8. i’d keep ryan, he’s for sure not the problem, plus look what’s he’s done with ridley, who imo has made julio expendble, and that gage kid…time to say goodbye to JJ and maybe get the boys a defence and someone who will teach them onside kick rules

  9. It sure seems like it’s time for Atlanta to move on from these guys, and it’s probably likely that neither one of them wants to spend the remainder of their productive years on a rebuilding team.

    I think plenty of teams in a “win now” mode would be happy to take Jones for a couple of years, maybe three.

    Ryan is a tougher call. How long does he want to play? Ryan did get them to a SB, of course. But Atlanta is one of those teams – like the Vikings and a few others – that always seem to underperform. That’s not all on Ryan, but QBs always seem to bear the brunt of that blame.

  10. They are terrible with Ryan and Julio so what’s the difference? The 2021 Falcons will be bad either way so trade both, take the cap hit in one season rather than delay the inevitable, stockpile picks and look ahead to 2022.

  11. When you have that much money wrapped up in two players it doesn’t leave much money left to put a decent O – line around them.

  12. Boy, Dimitroff just caved to J Jones. What a stupid deal. With Ryan, you have to pay the QB, and you usually have to keep them, so you overpay. Either way they are in a jam.

  13. Shaun B says:
    January 22, 2021 at 10:11 am
    This is an easy decision….if ATL wants to ever win then they go. My guess is they stay, but hey as a Bucs fan I welcome that.

    ————————
    Bucs will be doormats in 2022.

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