Amid speculation and trade rumors, Matt Ryan sure sounds like he doesn’t want the Atlanta Falcons to part with longtime teammate and All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones, but knows it’s out of his control. That’s what we took away from his press conference today, at least.
While Ryan has the “coach speak” filter at a maximum in all of his press conferences, he demonstrated something resembling more of a personal touch when speaking about Jones, his teammate and partner in crime in one of the greatest quarterback-wide receiver connections in league history.
Matt Ryan on what an offense without Julio Jones would look like: "I don't know."— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) May 18, 2021
Said he didn't want to go down a hypothetical road but...
"He's probably impacted my career more significantly than any other player."
"From a player standpoint, he's my teammate. He's my guy. You let the other side of it shake out how it is."— Justin Felder (@Justin_FOX5) May 18, 2021
--Matt Ryan on Julio Jones and the WR's future with the #Falcons. Full answer ⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/1XKPKl4N0k
Ryan is in a bit of a helpless position, even as the team’s longtime quarterback and face of the franchise. The Falcons are operated by a brand new regime, and speculation about a possible Julio Jones trade has gotten too prevalent to just ignore.
All Ryan can do is sing his star WR’s praises and, in his own words, “let the other side shake out how it is.” We’re all operating under the assumption that the team would need to receive quite a bit of value to move the best receiver in franchise history, but nobody outside of the front office really knows where talks stand. That leaves Ryan and this offense to prepare to play in Arthur Smith’s offense, which Ryan said has a mix of concepts he’s learned in the past, without knowing whether Julio will be here when the season kicks off.
If the duo is separated it will be after 10 seasons, four playoff appearances, four playoff victories, a Super Bowl run in 2016, a connection featuring 12,744 yards yards and 60 touchdowns. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones both played the most significant roles possible in ushering in the most successful era in franchise history, over this past decade, and I’m still hopeful they’ll get at least one more season to chase the ring that has eluded them to this point.