Falcons owner Arthur Blank parted ways with coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff following an 0-5 start to the 2020 season and then hinted earlier this month that Atlanta could shop both quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones this offseason as part of a roster rebuild.
"No decision with personnel has been made right now," Smith explained. "It’s just so early. . . . We’re just not gonna make any snap judgments. There is a long process. We’ve got to get in here with staffs. We’ve got to go through every guy on this roster. And we’re gonna take our time. There’s no decision that has to be made today. It’s not Matt and Julio, it’s every player on this roster."
As PFT's Mike Florio explained, Ryan and Jones will account for a salary-cap charge of more than $63 million for the 2021 season barring future contract extensions or restructurings. The Falcons finished this past campaign at 4-12 and, respectfully speaking, won't be in a position to compete for a title with Ryan and Jones on the roster next fall.
Ryan turns 36 years old in May, and Jones turns 32 early next month. It's understandable that a new coach would prefer to use this opportunity to blow things up and start from scratch as soon as possible, but determining how soon realistically is possible may be easier said than done.