Falcons Owner Says Matt Ryan & Julio Jones Are Not ‘Off Limits’

Falcons

Getty Matt Ryan #2 and teammate Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons.

In the next few weeks, the Falcons will be hiring their next head coach and general manager which means some big changes are bound to happen within the program. Trades could be going down or contract extensions could be signed.

Whatever it is, Falcons owner Arthur Blank isn’t going to stop the new HC or GM from making any deals which means he’s open to moving on from Matt Ryan or Julio Jones.

“You cannot hire the very best people you can hire, whether it be general managers or head coaches, and then tie their hands and tell them, well, this person is off limits and that one is off limits and that one,” Blank said via AtlantaFalcons.com. “What you’re asking them for, which is not off limits and needs to be probed deeply, do they have a championship plan, do they have a plan on turning around the franchise sooner rather than later so we’re winning in 2021? Do we have a plan that’s sustainable over a long period of time so we can make sure this team is competitive not just for the next year or two but over a longer period of time than that? … However that affects certain players, it affects certain players.”

 

Matt Ryan Addressed Trade Rumors

A few weeks ago, Ryan was asked about the trade rumors surrounding him and made it clear he wants to be a Falcon forever.

“I’ve said it all along. I love Atlanta,” Ryan said via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  “I want to be here. I want to be a part of this organization. I don’t worry about the noise outside our building. I try to focus on week to week getting myself ready to go. I’ve said it, I want to be here, and hopefully, that will be the case.”

In Ryan’s favor, it could be cheaper for Atlanta to wait to use him as a trade piece in 2022. Come next fall, Ryan has a cap hit over $40 million. But in 2022, his contract has a potential out, though the dead cap hit is still way over $26 million.

There is still always a way out of any contract and the Falcons will certainly be tempted to draft a new quarterback from the 2021 draft class.

Ryan finished the 2020 season throwing 26 touchdowns to 11 interceptions for 4,581 yards.

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Julio Jones Addressed Trade Rumors

Like Ryan, Jones doesn’t seem himself leaving Atlanta either.

“No,” Jones said Sunday when asked if he wanted to get traded, per the team’s official website. “I play football. I know who I am, I know what I got going on. I know what I mean to this team.”

Jones has a $66 million dollar contract that runs through 2023, and if the Falcons were to release Jones, they would still owe him up to $31 million.

Over the next three years, Jones’s cap numbers look like $23.050 million, $19.263 million, and $19.263 million. Come 2022, however, it wouldn’t cost as much to let him go.

In nine games, Jones finished the 2020 season with 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns.

Looking back in 2019, however, Jones proved he was still in his prime after he took over Jerry Rice’s record in receiving yards having 12,000 in less than 17 games. He finished 2019 reeling in 99 catches for 1,394 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

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