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Falcons, Matt Ryan agree to delay $7.5 million roster bonus until Tuesday

Deshaun Watson is reportedly still undecided between the Saints, Falcons and Panthers for his preferred trade destination, and his choice will have major impacts on the futures of each team involved.

The Falcons have bought some time, in order to give Deshaun Watson more time to make a decision.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that “the Falcons now have pushed back the $7.5 million roster bonus due Friday” to quarterback Matt Ryan.

It’s a strange way to word the development, given that Ryan had to agree to it. That’s an important point, one that shows Ryan is being cooperative with a team that is actively trying to move on from him.

The roster bonus is now due Tuesday. This means that he needs to be moved off the roster by 4:00 p.m. ET on Monday in order to avoid the payment.

The Falcons and Ryan reportedly had agreed on a restructured contract last Friday. However, the deal never went through. That makes the cap charge for trading Ryan before June 1 roughly $15 million lower than it would have been, if the deal had been restructured.

The willingness of Ryan to play ball with the Falcons suggests that the Falcons are fine with keeping Ryan and that Ryan is fine with staying, if the Falcons don’t get Watson. Or maybe Ryan secured a wink-nod promise from the Falcons that, if they don’t get Watson, they’ll trade Ryan anyway.

Ryan had never shown any inclination to leave the Falcons. With the Falcons suddenly willing to move on from him, maybe he has changed his mind. Maybe he’d like to play for, say, the Colts. Or maybe there’s some other team with which he’d like to end his career.

Regardless, the question for now is whether Watson will pick the Falcons -- and whether the Falcons will trade Ryan. It makes for a very interesting weekend.