What if Matt Ryan and Cam Newton switched places?


Dec 9, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) calls signals as the line in the third quarter. The Panthers defeated the Falcons 30-20 at Bank of America Stadium. Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Imagine a world in which Matt Ryan suits up on Sundays for the Carolina Panthers.

Now put Cam Newton helming the Falcons’ offense, and you have officially entered the Bizarro NFC South debated in a Reddit thread postulating which team would benefit more from a straight-up trade, Ryan for Newton.

Granted, it’s a horrifying dystopia for Falcons fans, in particular those Falcons like me, who went to Alabama and still have tics when we think of Cam’s Iron Bowl comeback in 2010.
But it’s an interesting hypothetical topic nonetheless and the r/NFL crowd is wide reaching in their opinions. A recurring theme from plenty of Redditors is that Cam Newton is Julio Jones and Roddy White away from being an all-world QB.

"Matt Ryan has studs all around him, he always has. Cam Newton has had far less talent in my opinion. If you give any other QB that kind of talent they can do what Matt Ryan has done. Cam would light it up, Matt Ryan would get exposed. Redditor 410LaxMD"

Others, however, point out that Matt Ryan does pretty well even without star receivers and when he’s constantly running for his life, as he was last season.

"Ryan made Harry Douglas a 1000 yard receiver. He can work with limited options, and with even a reasonable offensive line he’ll be a threat. Redditor ArcaneNine"

Like many sports debates, it’s a complete hypothetical that will never happen but is fun to discuss. And personally, I agree with several of the commenters at the site on which team would benefit the most from such a trade — it’s a tie between the Bucs and the Saints.