When the Atlanta Falcons traded Matt Ryan to the Colts for a mid-round pick and followed up the move by signing Marcus Mariota there was some understandable blowback. Ryan had long been the stabilizing force in Atlanta and often the only good thing going for the Atlanta roster. It has helped he has had consistent help at receiver, however, Atlanta has rarely had a consistent run game and never given Ryan a great defense.
Still, Ryan always seemed to find a way to fight and push Atlanta into contention before his final three years with Atlanta. While his last season with the Falcons was clearly his worst there were few reliable receivers and the offensive line allowed him to take punishment no 36-year-old veteran should be taking.
Despite the down year trading Ryan and eating a massive dead cap hit for only a third-round pick was a move both this site and others harshly judge. With each passing game,, however, it is only fair to point out that it appears Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot made the perfect decision moving on from an aging quarterback.
Every game watching Matt Ryan run the Indy offense grows a little more painful whether it is his league-leading 13-interceptions or the way he moves in the pocket it is clear Ryan isn’t the quarterback he once was.
Let’s be clear Matt Ryan deserves immense respect as not only a former MVP but as the greatest quarterback in Atlanta’s history and got Atlanta the closest to getting their first title. Ryan deserves respect and to be considered among the pantheons in Atlanta sports history.
While all of this might be true none of it wipes away the fact that Atlanta made the right decision moving on from a clearly aging quarterback. Ryan can’t carry an offense or move in the pocket as he once could. He is an aging veteran who appears unable to defy father time and the beating the Atlanta Falcons allowed him to take for far too many years behind leaky offensive lines.
Ryan’s time as a top quarterback in this league appears to be over. Smith and Fontenot made the right call perhaps making it all the more concerning that this team hasn’t felt comfortable replacing Mariota with Desmond Ridder as of yet.