Matt Ryan may be traded from the Atlanta Falcons in the midst of the Deshaun Watson rumors.
With the Atlanta Falcons still in the running for Deshaun Watson, it probably means franchise quarterback Matt Ryan is getting traded one way or another.
Though sending Ryan to the Houston Texans is a possibility in theory, that would be such a cruel way to end this lengthy relationship. If Atlanta is trading Ryan, it needs to be to a team where he can win immediately and continue to push for Canton enshrinement. Even if Watson goes to an NFC South rival, putting Ryan in this awkward spot probably means he is getting traded anyway.
Regardless of if the Falcons end up with Watson, here are three solid teams to trade Ryan to.
Matt Ryan: 3 trade destinations for Atlanta Falcons franchise quarterback
Matt Ryan could reunite with Kyle Shanahan on the San Francisco 49ers
Trading Ryan to the San Francisco 49ers would be complicated. It would mean the Falcons did not win the Watson sweepstakes in all likelihood. One would expect Jimmy Garoppolo would be coming Atlanta’s way as a stop-gap quarterback while they look for a long-term starter in the next few NFL Drafts. Ryan would reunite with Kyle Shanahan in Santa Clara and mentor Trey Lance.
Ryan won the 2016 NFL MVP and guided the Falcons to the Super Bowl in Shanahan’s offense. The 49ers are dripping with talent and are Super Bowl viable already. Ryan would make another Pro Bowl by further elevating the newfound talent around him. From George Kittle to Deebo Samuel to Brandon Aiyuk, the 49ers could have a top-five offense next year if they get Ryan.
Another upside in this would be Ryan would get to play with his cousin Mike McGlinchey, one of the book-end tackles tasked with keeping his older cousin upright. Ultimately, Atlanta would take Garoppolo and accept the inevitable rebuild, while San Francisco would accept Ryan as the high-end bridge to Lance. Of course, Lance may be groomed to take over in his second NFL season.
The 49ers are the one NFC team the Falcons would likely consider trading Ryan to this offseason.