October 13, 2020 | 9:55am
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank is cleaning house with his winless team, but he’s still taking a wait-and-see approach with franchise quarterback Matt Ryan’s future.
Blank fired head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff on Monday, one day after the Falcons fell to 0-5. Former Hofstra player and assistant coach Raheem Morris was named as interim coach to replace Quinn.
Blank was noncommittal when asked Monday if he expects the 35-year-old Ryan to remain the team’s starting quarterback beyond this season.
“I love Matt, much like I love Dan and I love Thomas,” Blank said. “Matt’s been a franchise leader for us, a 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.”
In past years, Blank often has described his desire for Ryan to remain “a Falcon for life.”
Ryan, ninth on the NFL’s all-time list with 52,658 career passing yards, has three years and $74.75 million beyond this season remaining on the $150 million (with $100 guaranteed) extension he signed in 2018. The four-time Pro Bowler will count $40.9 million against the 2021 salary cap unless his deal is restructured.
“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,” Blank said. “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, who has thrown one touchdown pass in Atlanta’s last three games, has said that he wants to play into his 40s. He told ESPN last year, “If you can stay healthy and you’re still playing at a high level and all those things, I don’t see why not.”