This is the time of year when we get two flavors of news: The unlikely, frankly bizarre rumor that has absolutely no chance of becoming true, and the unlikely, frankly bizarre rumor that turns out to be accurate. In this particular case, I’m leaning heavily toward the former.
On Complex’s Load Management podcast, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport called Thomas Dimitroff “strangely interested” in quarterbacks this year and suggested that the Falcons could jump up in the first round to take one. putting them in the same class as the Brady-less Patriots and final-year-Brees Saints. No, you’re not hallucinating.
This would seem unlikely to the point of impossibility unless the Falcons have a trade partner in mind for Matt Ryan. There are quarters of the fanbase and the analyst community that think Ryan is washed up, but he’s still playing at a high level and will be surrounded with weapons again in 2020. Even if you do think he’s declining, his contract makes him beyond impossible to cut and extremely difficult to cut. Trading up for a quarterback in a year where the front office and coaching staff are supposedly in big trouble if they don’t win would seem to be borderline insane, and even a level of interest would suggest the team thinks there’s a can’t-miss prospect in the bunch. This feels like Rapoport connecting some dots based on Dimitroff prowling during the Combine, but it’s hard to see this team mortgaging their class for a quarterback. Trading up late in the draft for a developmental guy? Sure.
It’s more likely that the team is trying to bait a QB-needy into moving ahead of Atlanta than anything else, because there are a relatively few top-tier quarterbacks this and the Falcons have plenty of other needs that they would have a better shot at if there was a run on QBs early.
File this one away, because the Falcons have done surprising things in the past and you can’t put anything past Thomas Dimitroff when he’s hot to trot for a trade. I would consider this extremely unlikely, however, so don’t get yourself into a lather just yet.