For what seems like the 10th consecutive season, the Falcons have a Matt Schaub decision looming. As has been the case for what seems like 10 consecutive seasons, it appears they’ll be bringing the wily veteran backup back.
Schaub will keep one of the most entertaining and unusual careers in Falcons history going. He’s one of the few players who began his career and Atlanta and will likely finish it here, and he’s now thrown passes for Falcons teams over a decade apart, a definite first in franchise history.
The #Falcons are expected to pick up QB Matt Schaub’s $2 million option for 2020, source said. No guarantees, but Atlanta retaining Matt Ryan’s veteran backup as it heads into the offseason.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 24, 2020
Schaub will be 39 in late June, which makes his 2019 performance all the more remarkable. After having played sparingly or not well since 2012, Schaub got a start in place of an ailing Matt Ryan and passed all over Seattle, finishing the season with six games, one start, and 580 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. He looked much better than I would have thought possible, and forced many of us to eat some crow in the process. It’s not hard to figure why the Falcons, who can still move on from Schaub during the summer with a measly $375,000 cap hit, would exercise a pretty affordable $2 million option to bring back a valuable player.
Does this mean he’s the slam dunk backup yet again? Schaub has been an incredibly valuable reserve for his leadership qualities, but he’s still playing quite sparingly behind Ryan, and for the first time in years the team has a compelling battle between two young options brewing. Kurt Benkert should be fully healthy after a strong early summer and the Falcons have apparently coveted Danny Etling for a while, and the winner of that gig should be a fine choice to keep the bench warm behind Ryan. The only hope I have is that it is indeed an honest competition, and the best man for the job wins it, especially with Matt Ryan another year older and showing a first sign of mortality by missing a game a year ago.
Schaub has proven everything he needs to, though, so for the first time in a while I won’t be betting against him. Welcome back to a franchise legend!