A lot has changed for Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons since their magical 2016 season. Ryan was the MVP, the team made the Super Bowl, and it's been steadily downhill since.
The Falcons will likely end the 2020 with one of their worst seasons under Ryan, and the franchise is poised for a shakeup with an opening at general manager and head coach. If Arthur Blank decides to clean house, here are three teams that could trade for Ryan.
3. Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts are looking like potential contenders this year with a 9-4 record, tied for the lead in the AFC South. Veteran QB Philip Rivers has helped get the Colts back to playoff-worthy play, but at 39 years old and on a one-year contract, he might not stick around in Indy. The Colts are in position to contend now, and they can't let their window pass them by. Using some of their massive cap space next season to trade for Ryan would be a move that solidifies their contender status going forward. There's no doubt Ryan would welcome a move to another dome for eight home games a season, too.
2. Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears have failed to find their answer at QB in the post-Jay Cutler era. After struggling to develop Mitchell Trubisky, the franchise should trade for a known talent instead of spending seasons hoping a young quarterback turns into what they need. Ryan is a perennial 4,000-yard guy, and he'd provide the stable presence under center that the Bears have needed. With their quarterback question solved, the team's stronghold of a defense should finally see their efforts turn into results, rather than be squandered by poor QB play that loses them games.
1. San Francisco 49ers
A pairing between Ryan and the San Francisco 49ers makes sense for both sides, if the 49ers can get off of Jimmy Garoppolo's contract. Ryan's MVP season in 2016 happened under current 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan when he was the offensive coordinator in Atlanta. That year Ryan racked up career highs in touchdowns (38) and yards (4,944) while throwing for his fewest interceptions in a season (7). A reunion with the coach who unlocked him could ensure that Ryan bounces back to the level of play he's capable of. If San Francisco's weapons can stay healthy, they should be able to contend with Ryan at the helm.
Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk free for up to $1,000!