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#pounditTuesday, July 27, 2021

Arthur Blank makes definitive statement on futures of two Falcons stars

Matt Ryan

The Atlanta Falcons struggled for much of 2020, and while it may make sense to embark on a rebuild, it seems a few franchise stalwarts will be sticking around.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Thursday that he was more or less certain that quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones would remain with the team in 2021.

“Well, I’d be shocked, completely shocked if [Ryan] was not (on the Falcons next year), and it really has nothing to do necessarily with his contract,” Blank told NFL Network, via Nick Shook of NFL.com. “Matt has played at a very high level for us since 2008 when we drafted him. He and Drew Brees  are the only quarterbacks in the history of the NFL that have thrown for more than 4,000 yards over a 10-year period of time consistently. He’s performed beautifully, was MVP of the league one year. So Matt can still play at a very high level and we expect him to be a Falcon next year, fully.”

Jones, who struggled with injuries for much of 2020, is also expected back.

“We expect Julio to be a Falcon, to be playing next year at a very high level as well,” Blank said. “God-willing, taking care of his body, his hamstring will be healed up. He’ll be able to play in more games than he played last year.”

Trades of both players already looked unlikely before Blank’s statements. There are a couple of good reasons for that stance, too.

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