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Falcon house owners on QB Ryan's future: Should-see

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While Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank expressed his admiration for Matt Ryan, he did not fully commit to the one-time MVP as the future quarterback as the franchise seeks out a new head coach and general manager.

On Sunday, coach Dan Quinn and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff parted ways after a 0-5 start. Raheem Morris has been named interim coach while President / CEO Rich McKay has been tasked with overseeing day-to-day business in the meantime.

Blank reached out to the media on Monday asking if Ryan, 35, was the future quarterback.

"I love Matt, just like I love Dan, I love Thomas," said Blank. "Matt was a franchise leader to us, great quarterback; one of the leading quarterbacks for the past 13 years in the NFL. I hope he will be part of our future plans. But that will be a decision I will not make.

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"Matt has the ability to play at a very high level even at this age. Whether this will continue or not I'm not sure. I appreciate his willingness to take this into account and the level he's for played us for 13 years, that was unbelievable. So we have to see. But on the other hand, it will ultimately be a decision that part of it is left to the player, part of it will be up to the coaching staff not. If God wills, he will do that and be able to play at the level that he can play.

Blank did not use his typical phrase "Falcon for Life" when discussing Ryan. Meanwhile, Ryan told ESPN last year that he wanted to play in his 40s.

"I think # 1 I still have a long way to go," said Ryan. "But if you can stay healthy and still play at a high level and all those things, me." don't understand why not. & # 39; & # 39;

Ryan, who signed a five-year $ 150 million renewal in May 2018 that guaranteed $ 100 million, has three years and $ 74.75 million left. He'll count $ 40,912,500 towards the 2021 cap for the time being, though the Falcons restructured his contract twice last year to make way for the cap and would likely have to do the same again to upgrade the roster next season .

The Hawks have given no indication of plans to part ways with Ryan, despite interviewing top quarterback prospects Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa as a "due diligence" prior to this year's NFL draft, according to Dimitroff.

McKay said Monday that the new general manager would have control of personnel decisions under the new structure, with the new general manager and head coach reporting to McKay. Blank said the traditional approach was to hire the GM first and then the head coach, but added that this mess might not be out of order.

McKay was asked if there are any plans to trade high-priced veteran players as the team is expected to have a tight wage cap for 2021.

"No," said McKay. "Last year we made a trade (Mohamed Sanu to Patriots for a second-round draft pick)." And it was a deal we thought was the player's best interest. It was definitely in our best interests, we thought. And we made that deal.

"If someone came to us with a deal for a player and it made sense to us – it was in that player's best interests, in our best interest, and we could do it – would we think about it? Maybe. That's something we look for would seek. " But this won't be a situation where we will pre-determine the roster for the next head coach and general manager. We're going to let them in, let them evaluate this roster, let them see the moves they want to make. & # 39; & # 39;

McKay went on to say that there are a lot of high paid players on the roster who have a significant impact on the salary cap. However, McKay believes that the salary cap is always "something to maneuver around".

Currently, the Falcons have six players set to take in more than $ 136 million in cap space next season: Ryan, the broad receiver Julio Jones ($ 23.05 million), the defensive tackle against Grady Jarrett ( $ 20.83 million), the left tackle Jake Matthews ($ 20.21 million) pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr. ($ 18.67 million) and linebacker Deion Jones ($ 12.63 million) -Dollar). Whether the Hawks intend to do a full rebuild seems to depend on how the new trainer and general manager view the returning list. Blank said the talent on the squad is currently better than the 0-5 record indicates.

Ryan admitted that this season he has not lived up to expectations. He hasn't thrown a touchdown pass in the last two games and thrown a costly fourth-quarter interception in the end zone during the Falcons 23:16 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. In five games, Ryan has completed 129 of 204 passes for 1,472 yards with seven touchdowns, three interceptions, and a pass rating of 90.2.

Ryan is the third choice on the 2008 draft and currently ranks ninth on the all-time list at 52,658 yards.

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Melinda Martin