The Atlanta Falcons have all the makings of a team that should be sellers at the trade deadline, but apparently their two biggest trade chips are not for sale. Franchise quarterback Matt Ryan and Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones will not be traded by the Falcons prior to the Nov. 3 trade deadline, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The Falcons are 1-5 and already fired head coach Dan Quinn and longtime general manager Thomas Dimitroff, but won't be moving their top two assets as the franchise is facing a tough decision whether to rebuild or continue to add pieces around their aging quarterback and wide receiver. Ryan, 35, is owed $59.75 million in base salary over the final three years of his deal with $15 million in roster bonuses while Jones is owed $38.326 million over the final three years of his deal, but only $15.3 million is guaranteed past this season.
Falcons CEO Arthur Blank didn't fully commit to Ryan's future in a conference call with the media earlier this month, but it's clear the organization is looking to move forward with its franchise quarterback -- for the time being. Ryan, ninth all-time in passing yards with 53,029, is second in the league with 1,842 passing yards this season with 11 touchdowns to just three interceptions.
Jones is still one of the top receivers in football, and has 23 catches for 350 yards and two touchdowns in four games this season. Coming off six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, Jones is second in the NFL in receptions (820), and first in receiving yards (12,475) since entering the league in 2011.
The Falcons could land a huge haul for Ryan and Jones if they were to reverse course, but building around them may be best for short-term success. The offseason -- and the potential offers that follow -- may change Atlanta's mind.