EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — With the free-agency frenzy on, the Seattle Falcons have done little to hide their desire to trade quarterback Matt Ryan for a quarterback they could build around.

So how could they do it?

With a big quarterback coming off a disappointing season, it’s easy to think that Seattle would be willing to part with one of their own.

But a trade involving a No. 2 quarterback would be a tough sell in a market where the quarterback market is a lot more crowded.

Instead, Atlanta will look to move away from a quarterback that it feels has a legitimate chance of returning to the lineup, at least for the time being.

The Falcons were among the teams that had the opportunity to trade for Ryan before the draft in March, and it would have been a good idea for them to do so.

The fact that they didn’t make a deal that day shows just how much they value the veteran quarterback.

Ryan, whose $20.8 million salary in 2017 would have made him the third highest paid quarterback in the NFL if he had remained in Atlanta, is the best quarterback the Falcons have had since former quarterback Donovan McNabb in 2010.

Ryan would have added some stability at the position, and the Falcons could have gotten better for Ryan in 2017 with a younger and cheaper quarterback.

But the Falcons aren’t going to be able to compete in a crowded quarterback market, and Ryan has become one of the league’s most divisive figures, a constant in the locker room and a divisive figure on the field.

And he’s done so despite being a player of high character.

His lack of discipline, his unwillingness to apologize for mistakes, his penchant for verbal sparring and his tendency to make outrageous statements have all contributed to his reputation as a selfish player.

Ryan is a polarizing figure in the league and in Atlanta.

He has been accused of making racist and sexist comments about women, of being a racist and homophobic person, of not being willing to work hard enough and for not being able to handle pressure.

Ryan was also suspended for the entire 2016 season by the NFL for violating the league-administered policy on domestic violence, but he was not fined.

He was arrested in October for domestic violence in connection with an incident in January.

Ryan’s agent, Rusty Hardin, released a statement this week that said Ryan was willing to discuss the situation with the team, but that there was “no timetable” for a trade.

“We have not heard from the Falcons regarding any trade discussions at this time,” Hardin said in the statement.

“As always, we will provide all of our fans and players with the most up-to-date information as soon as possible.”

Hardin declined to discuss a trade to New England for Ryan, saying only that “the New England Patriots are our No. 1 priority and will be focused on getting Matt Ryan back on the football field.”

Atlanta did have the chance to trade Ryan during free agency.

The team sent its 2018 first-round pick to Tampa Bay in exchange for Ryan and a 2018 fourth-round selection in 2019, and in 2020 the Falcons traded Ryan to Indianapolis in exchange to get quarterback T.J.-J.


Atlanta traded Yates to the Indianapolis Colts on March 23 in exchange of a 2019 fourth-rounder, the same day Ryan signed with the Falcons.

That was the only trade the Falcons made with a pick after the third round in the draft.

Ryan signed a one-year contract with the Indianapolis franchise in the offseason.

After the draft, Ryan was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for a 2019 second-round draft pick, and he signed a three-year, $25 million contract with Minnesota on March 21.

The Vikings sent a 2019 first-rounder to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange, and a second-rounder was later returned to Minnesota in 2019.

But it’s unclear if Ryan will return to the Falcons after the season.

He had surgery for a sports hernia in the spring of 2019, but was able to play in just nine games before tearing his meniscus in November.

He tore his ACL again in March and is expected to miss the rest of the season, but has been limited to just two games in his career.

He’s played in nine games in the past two seasons, and this season was the last season he played under former coach Mike Zimmer.

Ryan did not play well in the Falcons’ first two games of the 2017 season, finishing with five catches for 59 yards and one touchdown.

Ryan also had a disappointing second half of the year.

The 26-year-old started just three games before he was traded, but in that span, he was one of two players in the history of the franchise to catch more than 40 passes and throw for over 500 yards.

Ryan has played in four straight games without a touchdown.

The other is former quarterback Drew Brees, who signed