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Atlanta Falcons delay Matt Ryan roster bonus for potential Deshaun Watson trade

Andrew Buller-Russ

The pending Deshaun Watson decision seems to have the NFL world at a standstill in some corners. Not in Vegas, where the action never stops, but the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan have agreed to get a bit more breathing room.

Ryan’s contract currently calls for a $7.5 million roster bonus that was set to trigger on Friday, but he has reportedly agreed to have the decision pushed back until Tuesday. Why would Ryan agree to put his contract on ice in agreeing to such a random, yet specific delay? Probably because of Watson.

Who knows when Watson will ultimately make his final decision everyone is waiting on, but Ryan is at least willing to work with general manager Terry Fontenot by allowing the team more time to figure out their QB situation for the 2022 season.

Related: Atlanta Falcons’ Deshaun Watson connection could be enough for trade

Delaying Matt Ryan roster bonus keeps Falcons alive in Deshaun Watson trade talks

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

With the Watson sweepstakes now down to the New Orleans Saints or Falcons, delaying Ryan’s roster bonus allows his team to stay in the running before making their decision potentially trading their MVP QB.

In doing the Falcons a favor, this also could help Ryan in the end. Surely if Watson decides the Falcons are the right fit for him, Ryan wants a trade to his liking. He also has a no-trade clause, like Watson, Matty Ice can take his time being recruited by interested parties. It doesn’t matter whether his bonus is guaranteed on a Friday or a Tuesday, the money is still hitting his bank account either way.

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For Ryan, a trade could place him in a competitive situation in a new city, which would be a strange sight after 14 seasons in Atlanta. Ryan is also expected to restructure his contract that currently has him with the top cap hit in the NFL at $48.6 million. But first, the Watson shoe has to drop. Will it be Atlanta or New Orleans?

Related: New Orleans Saints meet with Deshaun Watson second time, clear close to $30 mil in cap space