Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank refused to guarantee the future of quarterback and former NFL MVP Matt Ryan following the departures of Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff.
The Falcons are overseeing a period of change after head coach Quinn and general manager Dimitroff were sacked amid Atlanta’s 0-5 start to the season.
Raheem Morris will take over as coach on an interim basis following Sunday’s 23-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers, with attention now turning to veteran QB Ryan.
Ryan – the number three pick in the 2008 NFL Draft – remains contracted to the Falcons until 2023 and the 35-year-old has stated he would like to play until he is 40.
We have named Raheem Morris Interim Head Coach.
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) October 12, 2020
Through five games in 2020, the 2016 MVP and four-time Pro Bowler has completed 129 of 204 passes for 1,472 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions.
“I love Matt, much like I love Dan, I love Thomas,” Blank said on Monday. “Matt’s been a franchise leader for us, great quarterback; one of the leading quarterbacks in the last 13 years in the NFL.
“I hope he’s going to be part of our plans going forward. But that will be a decision that I won’t make.
“Matt has the ability to play at a very high level, even at this age. Whether that’s going to continue or not, I’m not sure. I appreciate his willingness to consider doing that and the level at what he’s played for us for 13 years, which has been incredible. So we’ll have to see.
“But then again, that’s going to be a decision, at the end of the day, that part of it will be up to the player; part of it will be up to the coaching staff. And whether or not Matt can keep himself together.
“God willing, he’ll be able to do that and play at the level that he’s capable of playing at.”
Ryan signed a five-year, $150million contract extension with the Falcons in 2018.
He was crowned MVP four years ago after leading the Falcons to Super Bowl LI, which saw the franchise infamously surrender a 28-3 lead against the New England Patriots.
Ryan holds the NFL record for most consecutive 200-plus yard passing games, with 64 between 2013 and 2017.
Since entering the league in 2008, Ryan has completed 4,589 of 7,021 passes for 52,658 yards and 328 touchdowns, while he has rushed for 1,318 yards and nine TDs.