Loyalty—it goes a long way in sports. Especially for the Falcons’ longtime quarterback Matt Ryan. He has a five year $150-million-dollar deal that was signed just last year and will give him a spot through 2023 given he stays healthy—for a football player who is already 33-years-old and isn’t getting any younger that is impressive.
The Falcons have shown time and time again that Matt Ryan is one of their top priorities. ESPN writer Dan Graziano ranked their loyalty number one in the entire NFL. The commitment to Ryan is no secret—the emphasis on growing the offensive line this off-season only showed fans that protecting the franchise quarterback is at the top of the Falcons to-do list.
Ryan is a bright-spot down in Atlanta. The key piece to building a competitive organization is securing a quarterback that will remain in the city for years to come. One initial investment can turn into a long-term commitment—something that is hard to come by in the “Not For Long” league. Since Ryan was drafted in 2008, they have experienced extreme success landing themselves in one Super Bowl and two playoff runs in the past five years. Much of this success is attributed to Matt Ryan’s unique and unstoppable skillset. In 2018 (the first year of his five-year contract), he completed 69.4 percent of his passes for 4,924 yards and 35 touchdowns. Not remaining committed to a quarterback of this caliber would be foolish on the organization’s part.
Even though Ryan and the Falcons did not have a stellar 2018 season, the blame should not and cannot be placed on him. Fans watched throughout the offseason—if it was entirely Ryan’s fault then the organization would not have placed such an importance on protecting him with Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary. If anything, the Falcons are committed now more than ever, and that commitment will help the Falcons down the line allowing them to focus solely on improving rather than wasting time with pointless roster quarrels.