The Atlanta Falcons fired the GM who selected Matt Ryan in the first round and the coach he's been with the past six seasons. The former NFL MVP is aware of the tenuous nature of football life.
"We rent these lockers; we don't own them," Ryan said, via the team's official website. "We have to go out and pay that rent and earn your spot day in and day out. Regardless of whether you're in Year 1 or Year 13, that's our responsibility as players all of the time is to go out there and perform, that's what we're paid to do."
Clearly, if the 0-5 Falcons continue their tailspin and land a top draft choice, a quarterback should be on the table. Whether for Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, or another signal-caller, with a new regime taking over, it might decide it's best to reset the entire deck.
Ryan signed a five-year, $150 million contract extension in 2018 that keeps him under contract through the 2023 season. While the $30 million-per-year deal is only 10th-most among QBs now, the Falcons would be on the hook for $49.9 million in dead money next year if they cut Ryan, per Over The Cap. The financials suggest Ryan might be mentoring a young quarterback next year before moving on -- unless the right trade partner appears.
For his part, Ryan knows he can't control the future, nor what the next GM will think of him as a QB. His focus is finally getting Atlanta off the schneid.
"I don't worry about it, I understand where everyone is coming from, I understand where I'm at my career," Ryan said regarding questions about his future. "But I also believe in compartmentalizing things and focusing on what's in front of us this week and the job that I have to do. We've got 11 ball games to go this season and we've got to find a way to get some wins and get back in the mix. That's where our mindset has to be at."