Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank isn't ready yet to fully commit to quarterback Matt Ryan as their quarterback of the future. On Sunday, the Falcons were beaten by the Carolina Panthers 23-16 on their home field. The Falcons are now 0-5 and the price for the horrendous start to the season paid coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff.
Hours after losing to the Panthers, the Falcons fired Quinn and Dimitroff. The Falcons named Raheem Morris as the interim coach, while president/CEO Rich McKay was designated to oversee day-to-day operations in the interim.
Ryan, who was named the NFL MVP in 2016, the same season led the Falcons to a Super Bowl appearance, in which they blew a 28-3 lead against the New England Patriots. "I love Matt, much like I love Dan, I love Thomas,'' Blank said, per 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."
Blank thinks Ryan can play despite being 35 years old
"Matt has the ability to play at a very high level, even at this age," Blank added. "Whether that's going to continue or not, I'm not sure. I appreciate his willingness to consider doing that and the level at what he's played for us for 13 years, which has been incredible.
So 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; 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.' ' The Falcons are projected to have a tight salary-cap situation in 2021. "No,'' McKay said, when asked if there are plans to trade high-priced veteran players.
"Last year, we made one trade [Mohamed president/CEO Rich McKay Sanu to Patriots for a second-round draft pick]. And it was a trade that we thought was in the best interest of the player. It was definitely in our best interest, we thought.
And we executed that trade. "If somebody came to us with a trade for a player and it made sense to us -- it was in that player's best interest, our best interest and we could do it -- would we consider it? Maybe. That's something we would look at.
But this will not be a situation where we're going to predetermine the roster for the next head coach and general manager. We're going to let them come in, let them evaluate this roster, let them see the moves they want to make.' '