Should the Atlanta Falcons have kept Matt Ryan?

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The Atlanta Falcons offense under Arthur Smith has been held back by poor quarterback play and an inability to get the ball to their stars. The team has started the trio of Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder, and Taylor Heinicke over the past two seasons. This was after the Arthur Smith regime chased off Matt Ryan by giving the veteran a poor cast and making it clear they were moving on.

Whether or not the Falcons parted ways with Ryan too soon all depends on your perspective of who was responsible for chasing Deshaun Watson. If it was ownership Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot are given a bit of a pass for how the situation played out.

However, the results of the past two seasons clearly point to the fact that Atlanta pushed out their franchise guy without a reliable plan. Matt Ryan is the best player in franchise history and should be a future Hall of Famer.

While there is the obvious lack of a ring, Ryan's accomplishments and production are more than worthy of the Hall. The Falcons should have kept a player of this caliber around for as long as possible. Even if the team was turning the page the situation should have been handled differently.

Why not give Matt the chance to mentor a young quarterback who can sit and learn from the veteran? Even old Ryan would have been better than Desmond Ridder or Marcus Mariota. With a chance to get healthy behind a capable line perhaps Ryan would have even returned to form.

Regardless, the way that Ryan was pushed out and the lack of a successor speaks to the incompetence of the Falcons. Matt deserved a far better ending and at the very least should have been given the chance to serve in a backup role.

It is very easy to make the argument that even with an aging Ryan the Falcons make the playoffs either of the past two seasons with the veteran at quarterback. While the turnover issues with the Colts were alarming the lack of protection and weapons hurt the veteran.

With Patterson, Robinson, Pitts, London, and Allgeier, Matt Ryan would have gotten this Falcons team to the playoffs. Perhaps to a first round exit but the truth remains that Atlanta is yet to find another answer almost three years after parting ways with the greatest player in franchise history.