Matt Ryan is one of four quarterbacks with a salary cap hit north of $40 million in 2022. The other three are Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins and Deshaun Watson, but Ryan’s $48.6 million cap hit is the highest of the four.
On Sunday, ESPN reported that Falcons coach Arthur Smith is firm on keeping Ryan with the team in 2022. However, Smith would not confirm the report and it sounds like he doesn’t want to paint himself into a corner going into the offseason.
Smith spoke with the local radio crew from Dukes & Bell on Tuesday afternoon and explained his logic.
“I don’t think it’s smart business to sit there and box yourself in and say 100 percent this is going to happen. You got to keep every option on the table because the ultimate goal is to improve the team and to win a championship,” stated Smith.
“With Matt, this is our first year and I said it in our press conference, and this isn’t a knock on anybody or whatever, you look at most good quarterbacks and usually got solid weapons as you develop guys and Matt’s had some pretty good skill players around him. But he proved he could win again and we did it with a lot of moving parts out there, guys many people may not have heard of going into the season.
It wasn’t perfect and I’m very appreciative of Matt Ryan and he’s got a lot of good football left in him. But I don’t think you sit there and close the doors and say this absolutely can’t happen because then you’re not objective about improving this team in the short-term and long-term.”
Russell Gage and Olamide Zaccheaus were the two leading receivers for the Falcons, and even though Calvin Ridley ended his season after five games, he finished as the team’s third-most productive wideout.
Fortunately, Atlanta won’t have to begin the offseason with a negative cap deficit, so the front office is potentially just a few moves away from being a player in free agency.