Could Matt Ryan and Julio Jones be on the move this offseason?
During his end-of-season news conference, Falcons owner Arthur Blank was asked if his preference was for both Ryan and Jones to be included in the roster plans when the team hires a new coach and GM.
Blank then stated any decision on Ryan and Jones’ standing will come from the new front office following their hirings.
“You cannot hire the very best people you can hire, whether it be general managers or head coaches, and tie their hands and tell them this person is off limits and that one is off limits,” Blank said. “What you’re asking them for, which is not off limits and needs to be probed deeply, is 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 is 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?
“Whatever that plan looks like, and we’re all part of the discussion and we’ll all anoint and approve it, etc., and however that affects certain players, it affects certain players.”
Ryan was selected with the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft while Jones was taken with the sixth overall pick in 2011.
“I’m not saying Julio is a great example but we selected someone like (Calvin) Ridley and he could potentially be a superstar around for us for a number of years,” Blank said. “That’s the healthy transition that fans should expect us to go through and be prepared for. It doesn’t mean we love any of these players less. We love them all just as much whether they’re with us or move on to something else with their lives.”
In 2021, Ryan will account for $40.9 million and Jones will take up $23 million against the salary cap.