The Falcons and Colts appear to be closing a deal that would send Matt Ryan to Indianapolis, according to multiple reports, potentially ending Ryan’s 14-year career in Atlanta and leaving the team in search of a new franchise quarterback.
The Colts have been a notorious landing spot for Ryan for weeks, predating Atlanta’s doomed bid to trade for Deshaun Watson, and they remain the most logical landing spot as a playoff-caliber team in the AFC still short of quarterback. We have no word on what the compensation might be or when it might happen, but it sounds like the two sides are close.
Scoopage: Colts now trying to work out a trade with Atlanta for QB Matt Ryan @nflonfox† Not finished yet, but try to finish
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) March 21, 2022
Pat McAfee, the longtime Colts gambler who is believed to still have strong ties to the organization, says the deal is almost done. He also says that it should only be for a third round.
The Colts are hoping to get Ryan to end their quarterback carousel for a while after cycling through Phillip Rivers (who was still pretty good) and Carson Wentz (who collapsed at the end of the year). He’s joining a team that doesn’t appear to be part of the AFC’s elite on paper, but could take a step forward with a quality off-season and someone as steady as Ryan at the helm of the attack. Ryan isn’t working at the peak of his ability, but he’s still a damn good quarterback, and the Colts are in the right position in their team-building cycle to bring him in.
The Falcons, meanwhile, hope to get as much draft compensation for Ryan as possible to accelerate their return to relevance. All through the offseason, the plan seemed to be to continue with Ryan for another year — they had a restructuring of his deal poised to free up cap space — but now they’re going into this year and need to find multiple quarterbacks to continue. come this year. Whether they can draft a player in 2022 capable of taking over the reins of the attack in the long run or whether they have to wait for what is considered a stronger quarterback class in 2023 remains to be seen, but it Suffice it to say that this team seemingly saw not one but two plans for the feature go up in smoke this year.
Ultimately, if this trade goes through, they will continue with the quarterback they drafted in 2008 with the third overall pick and have been the team’s starter ever since. Ryan, of course, tops the team standings in every major passing category, and the Falcons will have no shortage of career highlights to roll out when they say goodbye to him. I can’t imagine many people with the franchise, Ryan himself, thought this was going to be the way it was going to end.
After the Falcons got involved in the Watson trade chase, first as a reported “longshot” and then as a finalist, they needed to know that they would either move Ryan if they succeeded, or probably move him if they failed. It’s hard to push a player who has spent so many years with you out the door, even partially, and then walk back again. That’s the position the Falcons were in after Watson chose Cleveland, and now a team that seemed to be building slowly will try to find a new franchise quarterback. We’ll see if this deal gets done today.
Original story below.
The Atlanta Falcons have dug themselves into a hole with their most recent fiasco. The team was successfully used by Deshaun Watson to get more money out of the Cleveland Browns. For the other teams in Watson, such as the Panthers and the Saints, their search for a quarterback continues. For the Falcons, who left Cleveland time to get back into the Watson race because they didn’t know what to do with Ryan, it’s reportedly still unsure what they’re going to do with Ryan.
There are apparently two options: (1) trade Ryan before his $7.5 million option guarantees on Monday at 4 p.m., or (2) keep Ryan in 2022 and potentially pay him more money. The Watson disaster appears to be costly for the Falcons, even without allowing Watson to land. Ian Rapoport had the latter.
The #falcons There have been trading talks around QB Matt Ryan for the past few days, sources say. Today is a deadline to make a decision as Ryan will earn a $7.5 million roster bonus from ATL if he is on the roster by 4 p.m. It will either be an exchange or back to ATL, possibly with a sweetener.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 21, 2022
This is a big change from earlier this month where the Falcons appeared not interested in trading Ryan. Desperate teams have since found quarterbacks. Now, any teams staying on Ryan know that Atlanta is in a bad place. It burned his relationship with Ryan and can’t compete this year. Its value has fallen like a brick.
If the Falcons keep Ryan, that “sweetener” will be millions of dollars. Atlanta’s problem is there’s no backup plan without Ryan. Your decent backup/starter-level quarterbacks are signed. The draft is expected to have few quarterbacks starting in Year 1. Starting a rookie on offense without blocking or passing the catchers is a great recipe for ruining that rookie’s career.
The whole situation has been shaken up. Atlanta has no good options. It may keep Ryan, but it will probably have to agree to a major financial apology. If it doesn’t keep Ryan, it doesn’t have any good options for its replacement, essentially defaulting on a multi-year rebuild.
Ryan’s future will be known at 4 p.m. Monday.