Carter spent last season as a full-time Panthers starting linebacker, but after signing a one-year deal with the Chiefs, the vested veteran could not make his new team’s 53-man roster. The former fifth-round pick has 30 career starts. The Browns just lost linebacker starter Anthony Walkerfor the season.
An NFLer since 2017, Hollister signed with the Raiders this offseason. But the team released him from IR via settlement earlier this month. Hollister, who caught six touchdown passes with the Seahawks from 2019-20, spent last season with the Jaguars.
Smith, 29, spent five years with the Buccaneers, ending that run as a backup cornerback and special-teamer for Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl LV-winning team. A starter for the 2017 and ’18 Bucs, Smith played in four Chargers games last season.
Matt Ryan trade buzz picked up in the days following Deshaun Watson‘s decision to waive his no-trade for the Browns, but the Falcons had begun discussing its 14-year quarterback with teams before Watson committed.
As the Falcons pursued Watson, they shopped Ryan, Zak Keefer of The Athletic reports (subscription required). This came as most among the Falcons assumed the embattled Texans quarterback “was theirs.” Watson is from Georgia and spent time as a Falcons ball boy as a child.
Ryan, now 37, did his own homework on the Colts, calling Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers to gain intel on, respectively, the organization and Frank Reich‘s offense. Other teams were also interested in Ryan, per Keefer, but the Falcons wanted to send their longtime franchise cornerstone to a destination he preferred.
Despite Watson choosing the Browns as the Colts shopped Ryan, the Falcons stayed the course on a trade by continuing negotiations. On the Colts’ end, Jim Irsay, who had a few negative things to say about Wentz this offseason, instructed GM Chris Ballard to complete the trade. Shortly after the Falcons sent Ryan to the Colts, they signed ex-Arthur Smith Titans charge Marcus Mariota. While third-round pick Desmond Riddershould be expected to make starts for the rebuilding team this season, Mariota will begin the campaign as Atlanta’s starter.
The Colts, whose issues with Wentz began during the 2021 offseason, have been pleased with Ryan thus far. They are eyeing at least a two-year partnership. This would stop a revolving QB door for the Colts, who are about to the join the Broncos and Commanders in starting a different Week 1 QB in each of the past six seasons. Ryan’s contract, which handed the Falcons an NFL-record $40MM dead-money charge, has since been restructured. It checks in with $18.7MM (2022) and $35.2MM (’23) cap numbers.