Which quarterback path will Matt Ryan’s career take over the next five seasons?
Matt Ryan has spent his entire career in Atlanta. With the way things are looking, it seems as if he will finish his career with the Dirty Birds.
In the Atlanta Falcons record books, the quarterback chapter has pretty much written by Ryan and he still has a few more things to go. Matt Ryan is 35 years old and while he is still playing at a pretty high level, it won’t last forever.
When it’s all said and done, it will be a sad day when he finally decides to hang it up.
We have seen great franchise quarterbacks come and go for many franchises. Some quarterbacks get the gracious farewell from franchises while others are seemingly pushed out with no type of fanfare.
Last season, we saw the Giants send Eli off into the sunset with the utmost respect. Manning lost his spot to rookie Daniel Jones and unlike many quarterbacks with the accolades that Manning possesses, he put his ego to the side and did what was best for the team, the future.
Will the Falcons push Matt Ryan out like the Packers did with Brett Favre or the 49ers did with Joe Montana?
Both of these quarterbacks are the all-time greats for their respective franchise and both had generational Hall of Fame talents as backups.
Joe Montana was injured for the better part of two years and a young Steve Young stepped in and the team didn’t skip a beat. By the time it was all said and done, Montana ended up being the third-string quarterback.
The 49ers decided to trade Joe Montana to the Kansas City Cheifs where he finished out his Hall of Fame career, while Steve Young would lead the 49ers to multiple NFC Championship games a blow out win over the Chargers in the 1994 Super Bowl.
Lastly, there is the third pathway – the John Elway path.
John Elway was able to retire on top after winning back to back Super Bowls. He was able to spend his entire career in Denver where he helped the Broncos make the Super Bowl five different times over his career and they lost the first three.
Elway was on the verge of ending his career without that elusive ring and instead, he was able to guide the Broncos to back to back title wins in 1997 and 1998 before ending his Hall of Fame career.
This is the path that we should all hope Matt Ryan is on – bringing a Lombardi Trophy to Atlanta before riding off into the sunset.
The Falcons haven’t looked to draft a big name quarterback to try to replace Ryan and probably won’t until Ryan starts to show a dramatic decline in pal and it looks like that won’t be anytime soon. Matter of fact, since the Falcons drafted Ryan in 2008, they have only spent one other draft pick on a quarterback – 2013 seventh-round pick Sean Renfree.
When it is time for Ryan to hang up the cleats, the Falcons should have a grand sendoff for the best player in franchise history and with good reason. Ryan took this team to heights that the Falcons had never previously seen.
The most successful tenure in team history took place with Ryan at the helm and they should reward him with the world.
If it came down to the Falcons drafting a quarterback to replace Ryan, would he be the type of quarterback to do what’s best for the team? Well, he has done so in the past and this situation wouldn’t be any different. Ryan is the consummate professional and deserves the grandest sendoff of them all.