Expect Matt Ryan to be Falcons starter in 2022

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Much has been made about the Atlanta Falcons cap situation, not only this season but heading into the 2022 season as well, and rightfully so. The Falcons, and general manager Terry Fontenot, will have about $14.7 million in cap space next season and several decisions to make.

Taking up much of the cap space is quarterback Matt Ryan, who has a $48.7 million hit against the cap. He still has two years left on the five-year, $180 million deal he signed in 2018.

Audacy.com NFL Insider Michael Lombardi joined the Midday Show to discuss what the Falcons do with Ryan next season, whether that's a trade or restructure.

"Who's going to replace him?" Lombardi asked. "And they lose $40 million of dead money if they cut him--if they do it before June--and $8 million if they do it after June."

"He does have trade value. At (age) 37, I don't know how much trade value. But he has shown that he can still play effectively behind a good offensive line."

For the next two years, Ryan's base salary would be manageable for any team at $22 million next year and $23 million the following year.

"The question for Fontenot and Arthur Smith becomes 'who do you get to replace him? ... How do we give up a guy who we know can play to get a guy that we don't know can play?'"

Week 1 of the 2022 season, is Matt Ryan the starting quarterback for the Falcons?

"I think he is," Lombardi told Andy and Randy. "I think the time to replace Matt Ryan was last year."

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