Fontenot: Falcons prioritized doing right by Ryan over maximizing haul

Posted: 23/03/2022 in NFL
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After trading Atlanta’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns for a third-round pick Monday, Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot admitted Wednesday he prioritized finding a good home for Matt Ryan.

“It was more important for us to do right by Matt than to try to maximize compensation,” Fontenot said, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

Fontenot also said the Falcons probably could’ve gotten a better haul for Ryan if they’d opened up discussions with more teams.

Ryan spent 14 seasons with Atlanta after being drafted third overall in 2008. He had a 120-102 record as the Falcons’ starter and led them to Super Bowl LI. Recent free-agent addition Marcus Mariota is expected to replace him in 2022.

But despite the decision to trade a franchise icon, Falcons head coach Arthur Smith refused to call the upcoming season a rebuilding year.

“Our charge is to win,” Smith said, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s not fair to the players.”

The Falcons are coming off a 7-10 mark and a third-place finish in the NFC South in 2021.

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