Cap consequences make Matt Ryan, Julio Jones trades nearly impossible

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Cap consequences make Matt Ryan, Julio Jones trades nearly impossible

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Regardless of whether teams are or aren’t wondering about the availability of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and/or receiver Julio Jones in trade, there should be no wondering about this: The cap consequences for trading either guy would be very significant.

Let’s start with Ryan. Trading him would result in an immediate cap acceleration of $44.4 million.

The Falcons currently have less than $2 million in cap space.

For Jones, the cap hit would be much more manageable, relative to Ryan. Still, the Falcons would have to absorb $23.25 million by trading Jones now.

Dumping the balance of their salaries would help, but not by much. They’d clear $7.24 million in unpaid salary for Jones, dropping the net cap hit to $16.01 million.  For Ryan, a 2020 restructuring that reduced his salary to the veteran minimum of $1.05 million means they’d save only $679,000 by trading him now.

Throw in the fact that the salary cap possibly will be as low as $175 million next year, the Falcons would have a very hard time clearing that kind of cap space. Given that Ryan’s cap number for 2021 will be $40.9 million and Jones’ will be $23.05 million, moving one or both after the season is far more plausible.

For now, though, it would be nearly impossible to move either one of them.

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