The veteran quarterback is leaving Atlanta after 14 seasons for Indianapolis in exchange for a third-round draft pick.
ATLANTA — After 14 seasons and after becoming the best quarterback in franchise history, the Atlanta Falcons go ahead without matt ryan.
Atlanta redeemed to Ryan this monday at Indianapolis Coltsin exchange for a 2022 third-round pick, sources told Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen and Dianna Russini of ESPN.
Ryan will become the fifth starting quarterback to start for Los Angeles head coach Colts, Frank Reich, in the same number of seasons. The Colts they disassociated themselves from Carson Wentz after the 2021 season, transferring it to the Washington Commanders for 2022 and 2023 third-round picks.
Conversations about the potential exit of Ryan began to intensify at the start of the new league year, when the falcons became part of a group of teams looking to trade for the quarterback deshaun watson. managers in the organization Atlanta met with WatsonWho is from Gainesville, Ga.and they tried to take him to the falcons despite 22 open civil lawsuits against him, filed by women alleging sexual assault and misconduct.
As part of that courtship, the falcons and Ryan delayed a $7.5 million roster bonus originally scheduled to be cashed on March 18 for five days, to allow the courtship of Watson and let Ryan He will look for another team interested in his services via transfer. Watson ended up waiving his no-trade clause to go to the cleveland brownsbut also left the falcons in an awkward position, having very publicly sought a replacement for Ryan.
The trade will leave a dead money charge against the players’ salary cap. falcons from $40.525 million for the next season.
Previously, during the week of superbowlthe owner of the Falcons, Arthur Blanksaid the team had contemplated a succession plan for Ryan in the past couple of seasons, but hadn’t adopted one yet. the chase to Watson it clearly became a succession option. Now, the falcons they will have to wait to adopt any plan.
Once the season was over, the head coach of the Falcons, Arthur Smithcontinually praised Ryanbut stopped short of committing to him as the team’s starting quarterback for 2022, repeatedly saying he didn’t want to lock himself in a corner despite how much he respects the veteran leader.
“There aren’t many guys like Matt that they can operate at the level that he does,” said Smith. “The leadership, the real leadership that happens behind the scenes. The way he prepares. He’s the same guy every day. That’s a huge compliment to him.”
Ryan, meanwhile, made it clear in January that he hoped to stay with the club for his 15th season, something he repeated every time he was asked over the months. He said believe in Smithin what they were building the falconsand what they did with the template they already had.
The 36-year-old quarterback —Ryan turns 37 in May– has been a column for the falcons since he was selected third overall in the Draft 2008 for the club. The falcons had expected him to become the next franchise quarterback, after michael vickregarding who resigned from the team after a scandal over the dogfighting organization that sent him to prison.
Almost immediately, Ryan proved to be a great selection. His first pass was a touchdown — 62 yards to Michael Jenkins — and he ended up being named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2008. At 6-foot-4, and 217 pounds, Ryan he’d been one of the team’s leaders ever since, one of the most durable players at the most important position in all of sports.
In 14 years with Atlanta, missed just three games: two in 2009 and one more in 2019. He threw for at least 4,000 yards in every season from 2011 through last year, when he had 3,968. He has thrown at least 20 touchdown passes every year, starting the year after his rookie season in 2008, when it was only 16.
Ryan reached four times Pro Bowl with the falconsbut no season was more impressive than 2016, when Ryan he completed 69.9 percent of his passes for a career-high 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns against seven interceptions.
He was named the NFL Most Valuable Player in that campaign, and led to Atlanta to the Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots. That superbowl It will be one of his legacies that will last the longest with the falcons. Atlanta had a 28-3 lead over the patriots in the third quarter, but ended up losing 34-28 in overtime.
Ryan and the falcons they got into the playoffs the following year, in 2017, but Atlanta he hasn’t had a winning campaign at any point after that.
In those four seasons, Ryan he has been caught 40 or more times in each of those years. He has rarely had competent defenses around him, and last season he played with a roster that traded to get rid of the wide receiver. Julius Jonesto wide receiver Calvin Ridley missing three-quarters of the campaign so he could focus on his mental health, since Russell Gage injured for a quarter of the season.
Four losing seasons in a row, combined with a massive contract —Ryan had a salary-cap hit of more than $48 million — they made Ryan a player at risk. Now like many of his contemporaries –Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, matthew stafford and Russell Wilson— will end his career in a different team than the one he started.
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Sources: Colts acquire Matt Ryan in trade with Falcons