Only one logical way to get rid of Matt Ryan’s contract
The Falcons can legitimately trade Matt Ryan this offseason.
The Atlanta Falcons finished the 2020 season with a 4-12 record and many fans are wondering if the Matt Ryan era has ended in Atlanta. Despite the future Hall of Famer putting up amazing stats, fans blame him for not playing defense.
Matt Ryan has a big cap number for the 2021 season and the Atlanta Falcons are currently projected to have negative $24 million in cap space next season. Thomas Dimitroff did a terrible job of managing the cap and now the next regime has a lot of work to do.
With any player’s contract there are six moves teams can execute to change the cap figure for the season:
- Cut pre-June 1
- Cut post-June 1
- Trade pre-June 1
- Trade post-June 1
If the Atlanta Falcons were to cut Matt Ryan before June 1st, they would have $49 Million in dead money and lose $9 Million in cap space. With the Falcons already in negative $24 million in cap space, this is an unlikely scenario.
The Atlanta Falcons could make Matt Ryan the June 1st cut they would save $17 Million in cap space but have $24 Million in dead money. This move could work but the Atlanta Falcons would have a total of $30 Million dead cap space and would have to make a lot more moves to get under the cap.
Trading Matt Ryan to start the offseason would not be likely. If the Atlanta Falcons traded Ryan before June 1st, they would lose $3 Million in dead cap space and have $44 Million in dead money. Many fans think this is a no brainer, but this would be a disaster for the Atlanta Falcons cap situation.
If the Atlanta Falcons traded Matt Ryan post-June 1st it would have the same cap figures as a June 1st cut. They would save $17 Million in cap space but would have $24 Million in dead money.
The only logical way to move on from Matt Ryan.
All these moves are not likely but there is one more move the Atlanta Falcons could execute but the backlash from fans would be catastrophic. They could dump Matt Ryan’s contract with a team like the Houston Texans did with Brock Osweiler’s contract.
During the 2017 NFL offseason, the Houston Texans dumped Osweiler’s contract to the Cleveland Browns but also give up a second-round pick. The only compensation the Texans received in return is a fourth-round pick and cap space.
This move might be the only way to get rid of Matt Ryan’s contract for the 2021 season.
The best example of a team that would take on Matt Ryan’s contract is the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are currently projected to have $20 Million in cap space and can open another $24 Million in cap space by making Jimmy Garoppolo the June 1st cut.
Once Matt Ryan is on the 49ers, they could open another $14 Million in cap space by restructuring his contract. For this move to work, however, the Atlanta Falcons would need to send the 49ers draft capital just like the Texans did with the Browns.