First up, it’s quarterbacks.
It’s that time of year again. Following a season of improvement and disappointment, Coach Dan Quinn now has his first “full” off-season to dissect his roster. He’s had a full season to decide who currently fits, who still has a chance to fit, and who just needs to be sent on their way. Now, these are just my opinions, I obviously have no idea what DQ really thinks or what the FO and King Arthur have in mind. This year, I’m starting on this earlier, so some minor changes might happen to the roster after I post, but I wanted to be able to get this all in before serious FA starts. I know FA is still 2 months away, but last year I ran this too close and over half of my summary never made it to these pages. It’s a shame too, it was brilliant insight, I nailed 100% of my predictions (ha!ha!). Anyway, the other reason I’m starting early is because I’m going to break them up into smaller parts. Last season, the post was quite long and I’m sure folks got tired of reading before you finished. Here’s how it will be broken down into separate posts, I will send them to Arno as I finish them, when he posts them will be completely up to him.
Part II-RB’s and FB’s
Part III-WR’s and TE’s
Part VIII-Specialists(may include this one with another, haven’t decided yet)
Let me just add before I start, this team has a lot of holes. By my count, there are at least 15 positions that could use major upgrades. That’s a lot to improve upon and obviously would take a miracle to accomplish in 1 off season. That being said, if the front office doesn’t look at each and every player, and I mean every one of them, and decide if keeping them or moving them would improve the TEAM, then this could be a long rebuilding process.
Anyway, let’s get started and tear up this roster so we can start winning big on a regular basis….
Part I – Quarterbacks
MATT RYAN-under contract through 2018 season, $23,750,000 cap charge
Cut pre 6/1-$18,400,00 dead money, $5,350,000 cap savings
Cut post 6/1-$8,000,000 dead money, $15,750,000 cap savings
Trade-same numbers as cut pre 6/1
Had one of his best statistical years as far as completions, %, yardage. But his TD’s were down and his INT’s were up and seemed to come at the most inopportune times. At points of the season, it looked like his arm strength had diminished and he just seemed lost and locked in on 1 or 2 targets (1st read option then check down). These all seem to be traits of QB’s under Kyle Shanahan. Was Ryan a victim of an OC and a new system? Is our franchises best QB ever starting to lose it? Will he look much better in his 2nd season in the west coast system?
SEAN RENFREE-under contract through 2016 season, $686,474 cap charge
Cut pre 6/1-$11,474 dead money, $675,000 cap savings
Cut post 6/1-same
So far, the best thing you can say about Renfree is he’s been better than anyone else we’ve had in training camps. Thanks to iron man Matt Ryan, Renfree hasn’t had to take a meaningful snap yet(has gotten some mop up duty in 2 blowouts). The next best thing you can say is the price is right.
MATT SIMMS-futures contract
Son of former Giants QB, Phil Simms
Signed with Louisville, transferred after freshman year to El Camino College in California. Later transferred to Tennessee where he started his senior year, only to be benched after the 8th game.
Was signed as an UDFA by the Jets in 2012
Saw action in 3 games in 3 years. Career stats: 19-39, 195 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Asked for and was granted release.
Signed with Buffalo prior to 2015 season.
Was given start in final preseason game, looking like he might win backup job. Final series of game, in trying to break a tackle, in inadvertently threw the ball 20 yards backwards. Bills lost, Simms cut the next day.
Signed as member of Falcons practice squad on 9/7/15
MY CONCLUSION: Matt Ryan is statistically the best QB this franchise has ever had. And he’s got the heart of a lion. But like I said earlier, if the front office isn’t going over this roster with a fine tooth comb, looking for whatever moves could be made to make the TEAM better, then what’s the point of having a FO. If I were GM, I would be on the phone to every other GM in the league to see what they would be willing to give up for Ryan. Someone might completely blow us away to the point where we (or at least I) would forget about the trade up for Julio. I doubt it would happen, but you never know unless you ask. And before anyone says I’m saying we need to trade Ryan, I’m saying I would look, just like I said last season with Julio. If I’m blown away by a deal, I make the trade, if I’m not blown away, then MR is our QB in 2016. Sean Renfree is a cheap backup, but I’m not completely sold on him should Ryan finally be dealt that death blow that we’ve all been waiting for behind 3 years of a horrible offensive line. I would bring in a veteran backup with some of that cap space we have, and if we somehow attain more draft picks, I would use a late pick on a project QB. One thing for sure, more bodies need to be added before camp starts.
PREDICTION: Ryan doesn’t go anywhere and the subject of shopping him around doesn’t even come up. Another veteran comes in as a FA to compete with Renfree for the backup spot. An undrafted FA is brought into camp just to be another warm body.