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Matt Ryan Signs Huge Contract, May Start Week One

In the world of the National Football League, there are times you win in the long haul by not winning right away. Some of the greatest players of all time had a little time to sit, absorb the teachings of those older and wiser and then break the doors down with a competent team around them. History--and the rigors of the league--have not been kind to those who are thrown to the lions.

Yet according to the NFL Network's Adam Schefter, the Falcons have not learned from the grievous afflictions of the past. If Schefter is to be believed, the Falcons aspire to have Ryan starting the first week of the season. This, mind you, comes long before Ryan has had a chance to prove anything on the field. Signing someone to a huge contract and then feeling obligated to start them because of that contract is the hallmark of bad team management, and is exactly the opposite of what should've been done. If need be, the Falcons should've waited to hammer out something slightly less costly and should not even be considering starting Matt Ryan at the beginning of the season.

The performance of Ryan aside, what good will it do this team to trot him out there? With the line constructed the way it is now, the chances of him making it through the season without get his brain rattled and basically nil. And with the defense the Falcons will likely be trotting out there, he should have plenty of opportunities to get out there and get destroyed. While I can talk myself into believing that Ryan will be a good quarterback in this league with time, I cannot reach into the vast abyss of logic and pull out anything to support this move. It's completely and totally indefensible.

Compounding the problem is the fact that this could turn a training camp battle into a complete formality, alienating Joey Joe Joe and Redman. I'm pretty sure Joey's not going to want to stick around to be a third stringer one way or the other, but that could easily be the last straw. Shockley may in fact start the season on the roster.

These are just some vaguely educated guesses on my part, of course, but I do not like the sound of this at all. As a team with an awful lot to prove, the team shouldn't be giving away gobs of cash and a starting spot to players who haven't earned it. Sadly (or perhaps typically), some lessons never quite stick.