“We’ll get ‘em next year, guys.”
Matt Ryan’s locker room edict after the Atlanta Falcons’ heartbreaking loss in the NFC championship game?
Maybe, but only just.
The elephant in that locker room is this: Can Ryan get the job done next year, or any time in the foreseeable future? So far, the general consensus seems to be no; the key words here being ‘so far.’ That view can change, will change, and sooner than most would think. The true Falcons fans are discouraged yet encouraged at the same time, and understandably so. Another season where they’re this close only to be disappointed in the end.
Yet hope springs eternal.
Ryan is solid; that cannot be denied. Solid, and improving. Falcons players and management alike want him around for years to come. Setting the wheels in motion to open up more room in the salary cap is the first step to make this possible. The loss of cornerback Dunta Robinson, defensive end John Abraham, and running back Michael Turner is regrettable, however, the future must be considered.
But does Ryan want to remain a Falcon?
In a word, yes. He’s content with Atlanta, they’re satisfied with him. The desire to spread his wings and move on could very well come in the future, but that would be more in the distant than near future.
Loyalty and validation. He started with the Falcons and would love to bring the championship home for the team and the fans alike. His time in the Super Bowl quarterback spotlight is coming and will be all the more well-deserved when he gets there. Once that Super Bowl championship comes home, naysayers can delight in eating the crow pie that will most definitely be coming their way.
Yes, it is wise to clear the guys for Matt Ryan. Time will tell, and so will Matty Ice.