Report: Potential 49ers target Ryan to stay with Falcons

Falcons' Matt Ryan

Another big-name quarterback officially can be checked off the 49ers' potential target list. 

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is expected to remain with the team in 2021, and so is star wide receiver Julio Jones, NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday (h/t 49ers WebZone). 

"From what I am told, Matt Ryan is not going anywhere," Pelissero said Tuesday on NFL Network. "The Falcons have not had any trade conversations with any other team about Ryan or their star wide receiver, Julio Jones, and every expectation is both players are going to be on the roster in 2021."

No official reports linked Ryan and San Francisco, although some speculation began circling based on head coach Kyle Shanahan's previous experience working with the 35-year-old in Atlanta. 

Plenty of offseason remains for the 49ers, but with the Los Angeles Rams swapping quarterback Jared Goff for Matthew Stafford and Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson reportedly willing to sit out the 2021 season, it's looking increasingly likely Jimmy Garoppolo will be at the helm come Week 1. 

Both Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have already publicly stated as much, with both indicating their respective confidence in the 29-year-old's ability, despite a disappointing 2020 season marred by injuries.

"Jimmy is our quarterback," Lynch said in December. "We're really excited about that. ... We're excited to be working with him moving forward."

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Prized tight end George Kittle also remains confident in his teammate's abilities, dismissing the outside noise as "talk and chatter."

"Jimmy's a hell of a quarterback, took us to a Super Bowl last year," Kittle said. "Unfortunately some injuries prohibited us this year, and I know prohibited him from doing his best. I still believe in Jimmy G. I think he's an incredible quarterback. I think he can lead us to another Super Bowl."

However, if the Texans grant Watson's reported trade request, San Francisco could (and likely, would) pivot its offseason plan and make a move for the 25-year-old star. 

The Goff-Stafford trade was the first major domino to fall in the offseason, but it certainly won't be the last. Where the 49ers land in the end, however, remains to be seen. 

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