Jan 13, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank stares from the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC divisional playoff game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Priority #1: New Stadium Deal
The ‘Big Easy’ will host the Super Bowl for the tenth time in a few hours. Yes, New Orleans will soon tie Miami for most Super Bowls hosted. The city of Atlanta, at the moment, has only hosted two. From what I’ve heard, as long as the Georgia Dome is the main pro-football venue in the state, Atlanta will never host another one. Arthur Blank is looking to change that by the year 2017. A deal for the new, outdoor Atlanta Falcons stadium could be announced as early as February, 4th. Both Mr. Blank and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed are trying to get the city behind this deal. According to sources from Atlanta Daily World, the Falcons have agreed to pay more than $800 million for the new facility and (possibly) the remaining debt on the existing Georgia Dome.
Priority #2: Operation “Bring Tony Back”
It’s difficult to imagine what the Falcons offense would look like without Tony Gonzalez. He is tough to matchup with due to his combination of size, all-around athleticism, crisp route-running, and sure hands. The future Hall of Famer has been Matt Ryan’s go-to-guy on third down since his arrival. Without Tony, I doubt our offense would be as efficient or potent. His veteran presence and work-ethic has also contributed to the development of other receivers such as pro-bowler Julio Jones. Thomas Dimitroff and Roddy White have already spoken with Gonzalez about returning for one more run. He had a spectacular 2012-2013 season, and he certainly looks like he has more in the tank. But, I feel like the Falcons should let this process work itself out. If he chooses to comeback, it should be because he wants to. Still, I know Arthur Blank and some of his teammates will contact him from time-to-time. If Tony feels he needs to be accommodated to return, he’s knows the organization would do whatever it takes to fulfill his wishes.
Priority #3: Resigning Matt Ryan
Good news is that the Atlanta Falcons aren’t far from being a Super Bowl contender. Bad news is that we’re on the brink of salary cap combustion. Great news is that if we resign Matt Ryan to a huge deal, it would free up some of the cap, helping them to sign draft picks and maybe a few free agents. Ryan has come off his best season as a pro, and had proven to be one of the better QB’s in the league in late game situations. In other words, the man is elite. Pay him and continue to build around him. As long as he’s the QB, Atlanta will always be a contender. Arthur Blank is known for rewarding his star players handsomely…He will open up his checkbook to make sure Ryan retires a Falcon.