The Atlanta Falcons were reportedly one of the favorites to land Deshaun Watson.
But then the quarterback shocked us all by choosing the Cleveland Browns.
Of course, landing Watson would have meant Atlanta would have to move on from Matt Ryan.
Yet they missed out on the sweepstakes and now turn their attention toward patching things up with the former MVP, as explained by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
What about the #Falcons?
Atlanta will turn their attention to making Matt Ryan feel wanted while he considers his options.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2022
This was the inherent risk of any team pursuing Watson.
They were alienating their current quarterback, which clearly happened in Cleveland with Baker Mayfield.
Now the Falcons have to convince Ryan to stay, or risk starting over entirely, hours after thinking they were getting Watson.
Tough To Trade Ryan
Ryan is under contract through the 2023 season and has a $40 million cap hit in 2022.
That is a tough figure to move, especially so late in the process.
The best option for both sides may just be to stick together and accept this is a part of doing business.
His cap hit is over $43 million in 2023, but the dead cap drops to $15.6 million.
So the team can simply cut him next year if he struggles again.
Ryan is a former MVP and nearly led the team to a Super Bowl title, before the New England Patriots pulled off a historic comeback.
He is now part of a situation where his team blew it in the pursuit of his replacement.
No one would fault Ryan for wanting out of Atlanta after all of this went down.
The problem is that if he demands a trade, the team may not have any takers.