Could Falcons shop Matt Ryan, Julio Jones at trade deadline?
The Atlanta Falcons played inspired football on Sunday in their first game after former head coach Dan Quinn was fired, but they are still miles from playoff contention. Although trades involving star players are uncommon in the middle of an NFL season, there are some in the know who wonder if the Falcons could consider blowing up their roster.
According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler, there are people around the NFL who wonder if Matt Ryan and/or Julio Jones could be shopped ahead of the trade deadline, which is in two weeks. The belief is that the 1-5 Falcons are leaning toward a complete teardown, so selling off some assets could make sense.
Ryan, 35, has three more years remaining after this season on a contract that pays him $30 million annually. Jones is also signed through 2023 at an average salary of $22 million. Neither player would be easy to trade, but the Falcons may be willing to take less than market value if they can clear the money off their books.
The Falcons have been heading in the wrong direction since their epic collapse in the Super Bowl a few years ago. Team owner Arthur Blank recently made some comments that created doubt over Ryan’s future with the team, so it would not exactly be a shock if Atlanta moves on from him during or after the season.