NFL: Predicting the week one starting quarterback for all 32 teams

NFL QB Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
NFL QB Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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NFL, Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan
NFL QB Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan

This is where things could start getting interesting. Rumors have been swirling for over a year now about when the Atlanta Falcons might be looking to move on from Matt Ryan. Ryan, who will be 37-years old at the start of next season, will be entering his 15th season in 2022.

The downside with Ryan is that moving him before June 1st will result in over $40 million of dead cap for Atlanta. Even making a move after that date would still result in almost $25 million in dead cap, making it seem like Ryan is here to stay in Atlanta for another year.

With that being said, the Falcons could start to explore options for the future. Next year at this time, Ryan’s cap hit will be much lower at $15 million, so Atlanta could start the process now.

With the lackluster quarterback class, the Falcons could opt to take a player like Kenny Pickett and sit him for a year behind Ryan. They could also wait until the later rounds and try to take a high-upside project like Bailey Zappe, a quarterback who might need more time to adapt to the NFL game.

The fact of the matter for Atlanta is that Matt Ryan’s time with the Falcons could be coming to a close in the relatively near future. They could go the route of the Steelers and figure it out when that day comes or they could do what the Packers did and draft a quarterback who needs time, but has the option to sit behind a strong veteran for a year or two.