Matt Ryan will always have a special place in the hearts and minds of Atlanta Falcons fans. He came in at a time when the organization was only relevant due to the Michael Vick situation. He stabilized the team and made them relevant again.
Ryan also took the Falcons to only their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. We don’t have to talk about how it turned out. But it’s what Matt Ryan said afterward that he hasn’t lived up to.
In an Instagram post following the collapse, Ryan said “My heart hurts for you Atlanta…we will adapt, we will overcome, we will RiseUp again.”
If Matt Ryan plans to live up to his words, he needs to stop being a selfish quarterback.
Let’s face it, the Atlanta Falcons haven’t adapted, they didn’t overcome and they sure as heck have risen up. You can chalk this all up to athlete talk, sure. As the team leader, you don’t get to make statements like this and then just say it was in the heat of the moment.
Ryan now has a duty to prove himself right. He also owes it to the fans. That’s the issue. The Falcons are hamstrung by the salary cap in large part due to Ryan’s absurd contract. They’ve restructured it here and there but the dead cap number is still absurdly high next year. And when they inevitably cut him, he’ll still be costing them.
The Falcons have too many needs to be shelling out this much money to one player. Look at Tom Brady, the best quarterback to ever play the game. During his run in New England, he won MVP three times, the most he ever made in an MVP year was $16.5 million. His highest single year with the Patriots was $23 million. He knew if they wanted to win championships, they would need to beagle to afford other players.
So, Matt Ryan, it’s your move.
You’ve been in the league 13 years and have made more than $244 million, you’re set for life as are your kids. You have earned more than Brady’s highest single-year three times. You have not nearly a fourth of the accomplishments. If you meant what you said in your IG post about adapting and rising again, you would take a pay cut and help the team fill out the roster with quality talent around you.
Until then, your words will be just words and though you’ve been a very good, sometimes great quarterback, that elusive championship will stay just that. The Atlanta Falcons can’t afford to keep Ryan at this level and compete for rings. It’s time for Matty Ice to be unselfish and help out the team, the city, and the fans.