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Arthur Smith addresses future of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones

The Atlanta Falcons are entering what looks to be a complete rebuild, which has sparked a lot of talk about what the team should do with its two highest-paid veteran stars.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan carries a cap hit of $40.9 million in the 2021 season, but his situation is complicated, as if the team were to move him, they’d be stuck with paying $49.9 million in dead cap. And while Julio Jones isn’t as costly, his inability to stay on the field, due to injuries, makes his future with the team up in the air. He’s set to make $23.05 million in 2021, a boatload of money for a receiver, and his dead cap hit is $38.55 million.

If it weren’t for the dead cap money on their deals, trading both Ryan and Jones would be a no-brainer for the Falcons. And while their contract situations make trading them difficult, they’d surely receive some draft capital in return.

It really is a difficult spot to be in, as former general manager Thomas Dimitroff saddled the team with these ridiculous contracts. And while the Falcons have already hired a new head coach and general manager, one of them has made it clear that they’re still undecided about what to do with Jones and Ryan.

“No decision with personnel has been made right now,” Arthur Smith told Pro Football Talk. “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.”

The Falcons may be forced to stick it out with both players for the next year, given the dead cap situation.