The Atlanta Falcons agreed to trade Ryan to the Colts for a 2022 third-round pick, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported Monday.
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Ryan was willing to push back the date he earned a $7.5 million roster bonus to Monday, March 21 at 4 p.m. ET, facilitating a potential trade elsewhere by ensuring Atlanta wasn’t on the hook for that money.
The Colts have been in need of a long-term solution at quarterback since Andrew Luck retired following the 2018 NFL season. In the three years since then, Indianapolis has spent over $83 million on the likes of Jacoby Brissett, Brian Hoyer, Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz.
Indianapolis' most successful season since 2018 came in 2020 when Rivers took the Buffalo Bills down to the wire in the AFC wild-card round but ultimately came up short.
The trade for Ryan represents a similar approach by the Colts' front office, with the team bringing in a veteran to finish out his storied career behind a stout offensive line that can mitigate his lack of mobility.
The Colts will take on a two-year, $53.912 million contract for Ryan, though an extension may be a part of the trade when details are finalized.
While Ryan’s 75.8 grade in 2021 was his lowest since his second season in the league, he’s still earned the fifth-most wins above replacement (PFF WAR) in the NFL over the last five seasons.
Matt Ryan: PFF grades and rank since 2015 (postseason included)
|Season||Snaps||PFF Grade||PFF Grade Rank|
|2021||1,020||75.8||16 of 38|
|2020||1,113||83.1||12 of 38|
|2019||1,065||76.0||16 of 39|
|2018||1,048||84.3||8 of 39|
|2017||1,159||88.3||3 of 41|
|2016||1,211||92.2||2 of 37|
|2015||1,116||80.9||7 of 40|
The Falcons will now take on an NFL-record $40.525 million dead cap charge in 2022 for Matt Ryan, surpassing former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz’s $33.8 million dead cap charge for 2021.
Atlanta owns the No. 8 overall selection in this year’s draft, perhaps putting them in play to be the first team to take a quarterback. With their second-round pick at No. 43, they may also be able to land one of the quarterbacks in the second group, such as Ole Miss' Matt Corral or North Carolina's Sam Howell.