Analyst Proposes Blockbuster Trade Sending Matt Ryan to Broncos

Matt Ryan trade

Getty Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons surprisingly passed on taking a top-tier quarterback in this year’s NFL draft and are betting on 36-year-old Matt Ryan.

But someday (soon), Atlanta will have to move on from their longtime starter. One analyst believes that time is sooner rather than later.

Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon proposed a crazy blockbuster trade deal that would send Ryan to the Denver Broncos in exchange for quarterback Drew Lock and two first-round picks.

The kicker? He believes they should do it right now, before Week 1.

Here’s Gagnon’s explanation:

I know the Atlanta Falcons almost certainly won’t trade Ryan at this point, and doing so doesn’t save them much money anyway, but it’s time to move on and start from scratch. 

The Broncos are in a much better position to win right now based on their defense and offensive supporting cast, so they might lose patience with Lock and Teddy Bridgewater and bite on the 36-year-old Ryan.

Meanwhile, if that bite were to come, the Falcons would walk away with a huge increase in draft capital and a young, talented wild card at quarterback during the first stage of a rebuild that shouldn’t scare them. Rebuilds can take just a year or two in this day and age, and it’ll be a lot easier to turn this thing around when they’ve moved on from Ryan just as they did with Julio Jones.

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Why the Trade Won’t Happen

Drew Lock

GettyDrew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos.

Ultimately, this deal is just one that would never happen.

Yes, Gagnon is right that the Falcons would create $2 million in cap space by sending Ryan to Denver but unfortunately, the restructure of Ryan’s contract would leave a whopping $24.9 million in dead money for this season and another $40.5 million next season.

As for Denver, they’re going to need Drew Lock in the long run even if they recently announced Teddy Bridgewater as their Week 1 starter. Sending Lock away for an old veteran doesn’t seem like the best possible outcome––especially for two first-round picks since they would have to end up replacing him somehow.

Gagnon also mentions that the Lock could be Atlanta’s long-term answer for the rebuild, but the Falcons are set on a “win now” mentality, so giving up their QB1 is not in their game plans.

Falcons GM Shuts Down “Rebuild” Mentality

When Falcons’ new head coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot made the decision to draft tight end Kyle Pitts at No. 4 overall, they were thinking about Matt Ryan and how to get Atlanta back on track to winning ways––as soon as possible.

So when critics suggested that the Falcons are in a “rebuilding stage” after firing their staff, Fontenot took offense to it.

“There is a bunker mentality with us,” Fontenot said last month, via “It is disrespectful to say we’re not going to be a good football team or that we’re in a rebuilding mode. The players, coaches, staff, and everyone here, we put a lot into this. We’re excited about it. We have confidence in ourselves, and we believe in the people here.”

At 36-years-old and entering his 14th season, Ryan has plenty of juice left in the tank and the past three seasons were never Ryan’s fault to begin with. A shake-up in the Falcons’ coaching staff was a step toward success and adding weapons for Ryan was the next. Now, it’ll be up to the defense to finish their part.

So, no, Lock isn’t the right answer, at least for now.


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