Matt Ryan to 49ers in 2021? ESPN analysts like idea a lot


Matt Ryan, 49ers quarterback in 2021?

Maybe, at least according to ESPN’s Domonique Foxworth and Dan Graziano.

Foxworth mentioned it on an episode of “Get Up,” with Graziano nodding his head in agreement.

“Very, very intelligent breakdown of the situation because as we talked about many times on this show, it’s a year-to-year commitment with the 49ers contractually, and Matt Ryan doesn’t make a whole lot more money than Jimmy G does … makes a lot of sense,” Graziano said.

It actually does. Plus, Ryan’s current team, the Atlanta Falcons, could want to build around the assets they would obtain in a possible trade, Foxworth mentioned. Especially after the team started off this season 0-5, forcing them to fire head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff. 

Let’s start with the money. 

Jimmy G signed a five-year, $137,500,000 contract with the 49ers in 2018, which puts his annual salary at $27,500,000 per year. Ryan’s contract has him averaging $30 million a year.

So the financial aspect wouldn’t be difficult for the 49ers to figure out if this were the case, but Ryan is owed $23 million next season and the Falcons would have to acquire almost $50 million if this theoretical trade were to occur.

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But … 

Ryan also has a past with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan when the latter served as the Falcons' offensive coordinator. And let’s be honest, Shanahan’s offense can be difficult to get a grasp on, so having someone who knows it well, and has the veteran presence, might be an easy sell.


"He has a great feel for play-calling and diagnosing how a defense is trying to take away certain things and then being able to expose that," Ryan said about Shanahan back in December. "I was always impressed with that during my time with him."

Another incentive could be the lack of production from Garoppolo himself. Dealing with an ankle injury, he has played in one full game and parts of two others this seasons. He has thrown for 467 yards and four touchdowns, while being intercepted twice and getting sacked seven times.

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Ryan, despite being 35, is a four-time Pro Bowl selection and still has plenty of gas in his arm with 1,472 passing yards and seven touchdowns this season.

Replacing Garoppolo with Ryan is not a crazy idea.