The Falcons already signed a two-year contract with quarterback Marcus Mariota to replace Matt next season. Marcus is familiar with Arthur Smith, the Falcons current head coach, as he played for him for six games during the 2019 season when Arthur was the Titans’ offensive coordinator
Of course, rumors that the Falcons were looking to trade Matt started swirling after they were one of the teams who pursued quarterback Deshaun Watson as potential option in the last couple weeks.
According to ESPN, the Falcons still owe a huge chunk of change to Matty Ice even though he’s gone:
“The trade will leave a dead-money charge of $40.525 million on the Falcons’ salary cap this season. It’s the largest known dead-money charge for any player all time.”
In a statement by Falcons owner Arthur Blank, he noted just how much Matt has meant to the organization over the years:
“Matt Ryan has been the epitome of a franchise quarterback during his time here in Atlanta. He has represented this organization with great class, professionalism and leadership, both on and off the field, over the past 14 years.
It is difficult to overstate what he has meant to me personally, our organization, his teammates and our fans.”
A statement from Owner Arthur M. Blank on Matt Ryan.
Matt will turn 37 in May, and was drafted by the Falcons with the 3rd overall pick of NFL draft in 2008, after playing college football at Boston College. He only missed three games in 14 seasons with the Falcons, and made the Pro Bowl four times during that span.
He was named the league’s MVP in 2016, the same year the Falcons ultimately lost to a now un-retired Tom Brady and company in Super Bowl 51. The Falcons did make the playoffs the following year in 2017, but have failed to do so in every season since.
As a Carolina Panthers fan who watched countless games where Matt had us going down to the wire, and helped the Falcons become the only team to beat us in the 2015 regular season the year we went to the Super Bowl, I’m not all that sad to see him depart from the NFC South… we have enough to deal with now that Tom Brady is coming back.
But for all the Falcons fans I know, this is a sad day, indeed.