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Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

FS1 host says Matt Ryan-to-49ers is an ‘obvious’ fit

Oct 22, 2020 at 8:50 AM--

With the current state of the Atlanta Falcons, the struggles of the San Francisco 49ers, and the criticisms of Jimmy Garoppolo, the chatter linking head coach Kyle Shanahan to his former quarterback, Matt Ryan, was inevitable.

One FS1 analyst, Nick Wright of First Things First, feels a reunion between Shanahan and Ryan makes obvious sense.

"I would be gobsmacked ... if he's traded before the deadline," Wright said. "But whether it's before the deadline or in the offseason, there's one obvious place for Matt Ryan, and it's San Francisco. We know they don't like their quarterback, [Ryan] won an MVP with Kyle Shanahan, he knows the system, and San Francisco can get off Jimmy G's contract at the end of this year, easily.

"If you're the rest of the NFC, and San Francisco has a bit of a setback year, all of the injuries, Super Bowl hangover, Jimmy G doesn't get better, and all of a sudden, it's that system with [Nick Bosa] back from injury, Solomon Thomas back, and Matt Ryan with those guys, to me, San Francisco goes right back to where they were last year as the favorites in the NFC."

While Garoppolo has struggled this season, he has also dealt with a high-ankle sprain that forced him to miss two games and underperform during his Week 5 return. The quarterback played much better during San Francisco's 24-16 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night.

Garoppolo's ankle is feeling better this week, and the quarterback didn't appear on the team's injury report on Wednesday.

"It's definitely made some big jumps since last week," Garoppolo said Wednesday morning during a KNBR interview, "and it will just keep getting better."

Ryan, on the other hand, had an MVP season and the best year of his career in 2016 under Shanahan, completing 69.9 percent of his passes for 4,944 yards, 38 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He has completed 65.2 percent of his passes for 1,843 yards, 11 touchdowns, and three interceptions through six games this season.

Even if Shanahan and the 49ers were interested, one obstacle for the Falcons might be the cap hit they would absorb by trading Ryan, who has three years remaining in his $150 million contract after this season.

"Action doesn't always happen," Shanahan said this week when asked about the possibility of a mid-season trade for some roster help, as they did last season to acquire Emmanuel Sanders and in 2017 to get Garoppolo. "We're not in the mood to just giving up a bunch of our draft picks either. We had to do that last year to make a number of key moves that I think helped us, but we also don't want another draft to where we don't have too many picks."

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