The Atlanta Falcons are among five other teams with a head coaching vacancy and according to CBS Sport’s NFL writer Tyler Sullivan, it’s the absolute least desirable coaching job open.
Here are Sullivan’s rankings:
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Los Angeles Chargers
- New York Jets
- Houston Texans
- Detroit Lions
- Atlanta Falcons
Sullivan’s reasoning? Well, it comes down to basically being stuck with an aging quarterback in Matt Ryan and cap space.
The Falcons have a few things working against them for making the organization a super attractive destination. They have an aging quarterback in Matt Ryan, who has a dead-cap hit of nearly $50 million next season making him nearly impossible to trade. They also have the third-fewest amount of cap space in the league, so bringing in talent through the open market isn’t likely as they’ll be outbid at essentially every corner. They do have the No. 4 overall pick this year so they could take a quarterback to mold behind Ryan over the next few seasons, but this is another spot where you are talking about a multi-year rebuild with less than stellar cap flexibility.
Let’s take a look at the positive side of coming to Atlanta.
Arthur Blank Not Opposed to Moving on From Matt Ryan
Whoever the new coach or GM is will get full reign over how they plan on rebuilding the Falcons franchise and that includes making a decision on Matt Ryan. According to Falcons owner Arthur Blank, no player is off limits.
“You cannot hire the very best people you can hire, whether it be general managers or head coaches, and then tie their hands and tell them, well, this person is off limits and that one is off limits and that one,” Blank said via AtlantaFalcons.com.
While Matt Ryan’s contract is a bit complicated, there’s always a way out. For instance, other teams could be looking for trade offers such as the Jaguars or Chargers to get a veteran QB in there. Ryan may be aging but he’s still a valuable QB and many teams understand that.
If the Falcons are stuck with Ryan, however, it’s definitely not a bad thing. He still performed as a top 20 QB this season despite not having a lot of help for the offensive line and injured recievers.
Ryan finished the 2020 season throwing 26 touchdowns to 11 interceptions for 4,581 yards.
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Falcons Draft QB With 4th Pick
In several mock drafts already published, the Falcons are aiming towards drafting a quarterback at No. 4. This makes a whole lot of sense since this year’s draft class is stacked with QB talent.
Fields and the Buckeyes face a tough task next Monday when they take on the Alabama Crimson Tide featuring Mac Jones and Heisman winner Devonta Smith in the National Championship. If Falcons fans want something to look forward to now that it’s the offseason, this will be a must-see game.
Fields will enter the title game coming off a stellar performance against Trevor Lawrence and the Clemson Tigers. Fields threw a Sugar Bowl-record of six touchdown passes for 385 yards in the 49-28 win over the Tigers.
Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs probably watched that game and regret letting him get away.
The Georgia native only played six games this season due to the coronavirus outbreak but threw for 1,521 passing yards, 15 touchdowns, five interceptions.
Ok, so you draft one of the best QB’s to Atlanta and are left with Matt Ryan molding him? That sounds pretty appetizing to me, Sullivan.