The Matt Ryan talks have produced an agreement. The Falcons are sending their 14-year starting quarterback to the Colts in exchange for a third-round pick, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.
It is a 2022 third-rounder, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com adds (via Twitter). Rather than send the Falcons the Commanders’ third-round pick, the Colts included their own Round 3 choice (No. 82 in the upcoming draft) in this swap, ESPN’s Field Yates clarifies (on Twitter). This trade will arm the Colts with yet another quarterback solution, with the deal coming not long after Indianapolis shipped its latest one-and-done starter — Carson Wentz — to Washington.
While word of a Ryan-to-Indianapolis deal leaked Monday, Pelissero adds the sides had been discussing it since before Deshaun Watson was dealt to Cleveland (Twitter link). The Falcons met with Watson and were prepared to trade for him, but Schefter notes (on Twitter) Ryan did not ask for a new contract after Atlanta came up short in that pursuit. That could be in the works with the Colts, but Ryan is still tied to the five-year, $150MM deal he signed in 2018. That extension runs through 2023.
Ryan, 36, will follow Watson, Wentz and Russell Wilson in being traded over the past two weeks. The quarterback market led to a major domino in Watson, who chose the Browns after they made an unprecedented extension offer. The fallout from that transaction will also give the Falcons and Colts new starting quarterbacks, with Baker Mayfield set to move soon as well.
The Falcons will take on an NFL-record $40.5MM in dead money by trading Ryan now, but they are sending the former MVP to the Colts before paying him a $7.5MM roster bonus. Atlanta delayed Ryan’s bonus to 3pm CT today, and Indianapolis is now responsible for it. The Colts, however, cleared more than $20MM in salary by trading Wentz. Despite Ryan entering March with what would have been a record-setting $48.7MM salary cap hit, he is tied to only this bonus and a $17.2MM base salary for the 2022 season.
Since 2017, the Colts have used five different Week 1 starting quarterbacks — Scott Tolzien, Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers and Wentz. Ryan will join this succession and strip Indianapolis of another draft asset. But the Wentz drama left the Colts with a glaring QB need. Mayfield wanted to fill it, but Ryan — despite being nearly 10 years older than the disgruntled Browns QB — will have that opportunity. The Colts sent seven players to the Pro Bowl last year but failed to make the playoffs, combusting with ugly losses to the Raiders and Jaguars to close the season. They will count on Ryan to avoid such a fate next season.
Indianapolis lost its 2022 first-rounder by trading for Wentz but picked up two additional thirds — one of which could be upgraded to a second depending on Wentz’s Washington playing time. That gave the team some flexibility regarding its next QB move. The Colts will still have second- and third-rounders in the 2022 draft.
Ryan arrived in Atlanta as the 2008 No. 3 overall pick — Thomas Dimitroff‘s first draft choice as Falcons GM — and quickly filled the hole Michael Vick‘s prison sentence created. Ryan took the Falcons to six playoff berths, with his Georgia run peaking with a 2016 MVP campaign and a slot in Super Bowl LI. The Falcons’ historic collapse that night keyed a downhill slide. Although Atlanta made the playoffs the following year, the team has produced four consecutive losing seasons since. Ryan seemed out of place on the current Falcons, who are launching a rebuild behind new GM Terry Fontenot. HC Arthur Smith said shortly after the 2021 season’s conclusion he wanted Ryan back, but the team is going in a different direction.
Ryan has not made a Pro Bowl since that MVP season, and he ranked 21st in QBR last season — 12 spots behind Wentz. The Boston College alum, of course, is far more accomplished than the previous Colts passer; he ranked 14th and 16th in QBR in 2019 and ’20, respectively. The Colts have work to do at wide receiver, but they still feature one of the NFL’s better offensive lines and just added Yannick Ngakoue to a solid defense.
72 comments on “Colts, Falcons Complete Matt Ryan Trade”
so ATL’s drafting Willis, right?
They’re gonna go after Mariota
They can do both. Sign Mariota and draft a “franchise” Qb.
In fact they can set themselves up nicely with this years draft
#8 – take QB or trade back take QB
#43 – Pass rusher – Jackson Williams
#58 – DT Leal, Mathis, Hall, Wyatt
#74 – WR – Erik Ekuzama 6’3″ 220
New 3rd rounder from Colts – WR Romeo Doubs
Falcons certainly need more than just Pitts on offense.
Really no sense drafting Willis. The Falcons are starting a rebuild and it will take 3-4 years to become worthy of a rookie QB. You simply should not waste rookie salaried QB’s on bad teams. Just ask all the other teams that have stunk trying to fix themselves by continually drafting QB’s.
They would be better off paying or trading for a mid-tier vet that could stabilize things while they start drafting ‘best available’ year after year, pick after pick, and in 2024 get a rookie QB to train up.
You mean like Joe Burrow?
What franchise QB are you talking about in this year’s draft? They should trade down and get trades for next year for a QB!
why do teams eve bother drafting franchise quarterbacks. They need to sit and learn 2 or 3 years then come in. That is why the Packers have been successful with quarterbacks. Favre, Dettmer, Brunell, Pederson, Brooks, Warner, Nall, and Rodgers.
Worked out pretty well for the Bengals drafting a franchise QB
and Bills, KC, Chargers…
KC was not a rebuild (playoff team with Alex Smith) and Chargers were also a respectable franchise with Philip Rivers before Justin Herbert stepped in.
I could see them taking on Baker for a year while bringing in a young QB, Willis or someone else, to sit and learn from the staff. Baker’s opportunities are dwindling. Seattle, Carolina, or Atlanta, right? Carolina probably has the best overall team, but Seattle still has better offensive weapons overall. Personally, I wouldn’t touch Baker, but one of those teams probably will, plus Baker will be playing for an opportunity the following season when his deal is up.
Baker to the Saints?
Seattle has better talent than the Falcons or Panthers
Whatchu talkin bout?
Hopefully Matty Ice finds some success with the Colts. He will definitely have a better line in front of him and more weapons this year than he would have had in Atlanta.
I love Matty Ice. I hate the Colts. This is all so confusing.
They need more WR’s. Pittman & Campbell,JR are decent wideouts. They still need a #3.
Campbell has played 15 games and caught 34 passes over three seasons. You can’t plan on him as a #2 or even #3 if you’re planning to contend. I hope he blossoms, but you can’t bet on it.
They need a 1 or 2 depending on how Pittman shows up this year. They also need a 3 and TEs.
Smells of desperation on the Colts part.
Well, it’s a dicey QB draft with no first round pick, they have a win now roster, the pro options are all very flawed, and their only QBs were a 2020 fourth rounder and a 2021 sixth rounder who’ve combined for zero pro pass attempts. So yeah, that’d a pretty desperate situation. You could do a lot worse given all that.
If by dicey you mean crap-laden .. then you are correct.
We’ll see. Maybe it really is a 2013 draft with no good starting QBs in it. I think one or two of these guys probably turns out OK, but I wouldn’t want to bet on one with a roster you think can win now (or gamble with too high a pick for a rebuilding team).
History says there will be at least one starting QB in this class. They almost always never turn out as predicted.
Josh Allen was supposed to be the most questionable QB in that “amazing” class. Now he’s the only superstar QB of the bunch. Lamar was supposed to be a second rounder and he’s next best. Baker, Darnold, and Rosen were supposed to be saviors.
2015 was supposed to be amazing with Winston and Mariota. Both end up being top-tier backups instead.
2012 was supposed to be Luck and RGIII, but no other QBs… R. Wilson and Cousins end up as mid-round franchise QBs, Ryan Tannehill proves starter worthy, and Keenum goes undrafted before becoming a solid bridge/good backup.
More desperate than ATL taking a dead cap hit of $30+ mil and only getting a third round pick?
Different situation. Indy is in compete mode. Atlanta is in total rebuild mode.
Ryan > Wentz
Wentz has played behind far better lines his entire career than what Ryan had in Atlanta. The Colts also had better WR’s and a true RB1 there last year and Ryan still outperformed Wentz.
It will be interesting what Ryan can do there. I believe Ryan will be back in the playoffs.
agreed hightaltitude, is Matt Ryan better than Carson Wentz? I dont think so imo.
I would absolutely take Ryan over Wentz at this point.
Ballard just wants a stopgap so it probably doesn’t matter which QB they have this season. Ryan is just 4-4 lifetime against the Jags so the Colts aren’t out of the woods yet.
Matty Ice Light goes to Indiana
The true Matty Ice, Matt Flynn, the god of the kneel down, has been retired a ling time.
Wonder who their veteran QB in residence will be next year.
Ryan has two years left on his deal at a significant cap hit, so he is probably there for at least 2 pending a restructure.
Have a little faith in the Indy QB vortex.
WHEEL… OF… QUARTERBACKS!!!!
*spins imaginary wheel to see who it lands on next*
Free Sam Ehlinger!
He’s now set up well as an understudy.
Oh, he will be free. As in, it won’t cost anything to acquire him. He was a 6th round pick for a reason: he’s not starting NFL QB material.
Lmfao!! Dumb, Goat Brady was a 6th round pick. I guess he didn’t work out as a starter
Bindy…. That’s got to be the dumbest thing I’ve heard on here in quite awhile. The Goat was a 6th round pick.
Lol, I’m in no way comparing Ehlinger to Brady, but to say a 6th rounder can’t be a starter is ridiculous
LOL. You clearly don’t understand the NFL draft and how QBs are evaluated and valued. Any guy who is considered long term starter material does not last to the 6th round. Does that mean a Brady can’t come along and be a huge exception? No, but that is what he was a rare exception. I’ve seen Ehlinger play – he is no Brady.
I guess you figured out why I’m not an nfl general manager, nor is anyone else on this forum.
Yeah because none of us have connections or an Ivy League degree
What happens to Baker Mayfield?
He’s sitting in Cleveland waiting while his market continues to shrink, because the Browns completely and utterly painted themselves into a corner of no trade value.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Browns hold onto him. They have won aspirations and Watson surely sees a suspension. Baker can start during the suspension and have audition tape for next year. Not a large cap hit really either ?
Bigjon, if I were Baker, no chance I’m doing that. While an audition could be beneficial, suffering an injury on a team that disrespected and (eventually) will disregard him is a pointless risk. If the Browns pull that, Baker should “pull” something in his back and sit out.
Carolina could certainly use a QB upgrade, but it would be funny to have picks 1 and 3 from the 2018 draft duking it out.
Yeah it would but I don’t know if Carolina wants to pay Mayfield and Darnold that much to compete, only to possibly find that neither is the answer. I personally think that Baker is not only much better than Darnold but better than most people think, but no one asked me.
Outside of Carolina? I don’t see the Falcons taking him, they’ll sign a cheaper vet and draft a QB. Saints? They’re already paying Hill a lot… why I don’t know, but they are. Seattle? Makes a lot of sense on paper, but if they are truly tearing it down then maybe not. Not San Francisco regardless of Jimmy G… who coincidentally will soon also take up a Baker landing spot.
In short… you made yourself a bed of poo, Cleveland, now get ready to lie in it.
I thought it was gonna be a three team deal, Between Colts, Browns, and ATL. I thought Ryan would go to the colts in a salary dump for picks to be given to Cots from Falcons and, Falcons to get pick from Browns and Falcons send picks to Clevland and Clevland sends a pick to the colts.
As a Lions fan, I’d gladly take Mayfield over Goff. I also hope Detroit drafts Willis.
Actually I like that idea for the Lions. Goff is certainly not the answer, but Baker might be.
I’d go out and grab Julio Jones on the cheap?
Why they just got rid of TY, why go get another injury prone old man.
But who’s going to throw the ball to Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Russel Gage?
Heard Cordaelle Patterson is working on throwing the ball to himself. They’re gonna look like Georgia Tech football with the wildcat here if they don’t figure something out. Just going to be CP, Williams and Pitts running triple option sweeps for 60 minutes.
it’s pretty simple lol, just run the ball
Baker Mayfield needs to be traded to the Packers for Jordan Love. That sets up Packers when Rodgers retires. Gives Mayfield a year or two to really learn the system while sitting and getting better.
So GB can take a cap hit by dumping Love, then pay Mayfield $18 mil to sit on the bench? I believe he’s only under contract for 1 more year, so then they either pay up again for him to sit another year..or 2..OR, pay Mayfield to play, Rodgers NOT TO play, and field a team of min salary guys to fill the roster..and stink.
Baker will make 18 million as a backup in Green Bay? Come on that’s not happening. Love is still on his rookie deal he is a dirt cheap backup.
Stubby. That’s actually not a bad idea. The Browns royally screwed over Baker who I’m a fan of. Let him behind ARod for a year or 2 then he’ll be ready to lead the pack
You really think Baker is willing to be a backup for the next two seasons?
Great deal for the Colts.
Rolled the dice and overpaid for Wentz and it didn’t work out but managed to get a good return and get in Matt Ryan to replace him.
Ryan is actually an upgrade over Wentz and the fact they will also send up with either a 2nd or 3rd from Washington aswell was great business from their part.
Jonathan Taylor will run the ball all day and Ryan won’t have nearly as much work to do. He will have great protection in front of him and better targets than had he stayed in Atlanta. This Colts team needs to get another WR maybe Ryan can convince Julio Jones to come follow him, if not Jarvis Landry would be a really good addition
For the Falcons this makes zero sense.
I understand he’s old and you want to go in another direction but why not make that decision earlier and possibly get back more than a third.
I’m guessing the Calvin Ridley suspension also plays a part in this.
I’m guessing they tank it our for a couple seasons
Grady is next to go.
I said it last year and it’s true again this year.. The Colts should have just signed Andy Dalton and saved the $$ and draft pick. He’d give you similar production. Wentz, Ryan and Dalton are all wildly mediocre. Colts still have no long term QB.
Ryan and Wentz are much better QBs than Dalton. I’m not sure how you see them as equal.
Baker could have been the Colts Drew Brees, damn shame they went with the wrong guy.
Baker can’t hold Drew Brees’ jock. Brees was a true pro, a legend. Baker is a baby, very unprofessional, a diva, & too emotional to be a starting QB in the NFL. He should stick with wiping off the sears in Cleveland’s crappy stadium.
Mayfield is still an unknown quantity, early in his career. Maybe he will never overcome the limitations of his physical gifts (height, arm strength/accuracy). Maybe he will. It’s still hard to predict. Many QB careers start a bit rocky.
The browns are probably the best franchise when it comes to drafting Q.B.’s. I can’t believe they traded for Watson. Why not just draft a great QB and save your picks? Dogpound, naw mean.