Falcons owner Arthur Blank unsure of QB Matt Ryan’s future with team: ‘Have to see’

Firing a head coach and a general manager are typical first steps of cleaning house. Opening the door to potentially move on from a franchise quarterback is another indicator.

After an 0-5 start to the 2020 season, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank let go of GM Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn. While speaking with the media Monday, Blank did not commit to Matt Ryan as the quarterback of future. 

However, Blank made it clear his stance on Ryan had less to do with his personal preferences and is more dependent on the philosophy of the new brain trust, whenever they are hired. 

"I love Matt, much like I love Dan, I love Thomas,'' Blank said, via ESPN. "Matt's been a franchise leader for us, great quarterback; one of the leading quarterbacks in the last 13 years in the NFL. I hope he's going to be part of our plans going forward. But that will be a decision that I won't make."

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Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) stands on the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers. (Photo: Danny Karnik, AP)

Ryan, 35, has previously said he plans on playing until his 40s. 

"We'll have to see. But then again, that's going to be a decision, at the end of the day, that part of it will be up to the player," Blank said. "Part of it will be up to the coaching staff. And whether or not Matt can keep himself together. God willing, he'll be able to do that and play at the level that he's capable of playing at.''

Signed to a five-year contract extension in May 2018 worth $150 million, Ryan's cap hit for 2021 would be $40,912,500, according to Spotrac. There's also a potential out in his contract after the 2021 season, which would result in $26,525,000 in dead cap space.

Ryan has been the Falcons' starting quarterback since the team picked him third overall in the 2008 draft to replace Michael Vick. He won NFL MVP in 2016, the same season the Falcons lost to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. 

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