Atlanta – after 14 seasons and became the best quarterback in franchise history, Matt Ryan Moves from the Atlanta Falcons.
Atlanta traded Ryan Monday for the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a 2022 third-round draft pick, sources told Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen and ESPN’s Diana Rossini.
Ryan will become the fifth starting midfielder for Colts coach Frank Reich in as many seasons. Move the ponies from Carson Wentz After the 2021 season, he was traded to the Washington captains in the third round of selections in 2022 and 2023.
Talks about Ryan’s departure swirled at the start of the new league year, when the Falcons became part of the group of teams inquiring about trading in the quarterback. Deshaun Watson. Top officials across the Atlanta organization met Watson, of Gainesville, Georgia, and tried to lure him to the Falcons despite 22 open civil lawsuits filed by women accusing the quarterback of sexual assault and sexual misconduct.
As part of this endeavor, Falcons and Ryan paid an existing bonus of $7.5 million that was originally due from Friday to Monday for allowing Watson’s courtship to play and allowing Ryan to seek business partners. Watson ended up waiving the no-trade clause to go to Cleveland, but it also put the Hawks in a position where they publicly pursued a succession plan for Ryan.
The trade will leave a $40.525 million dead money scheme on the Hawks’ salary cap this season.
Weeks earlier, during Super Bowl week, Falcons owner Arthur Blank said the team had considered a succession plan for Ryan in the past two seasons but didn’t have one yet. It is clear that following Watson has become one of the options for succession. Now the hawks will have to push this plan even further.
Once the season was over, Falcons coach Arthur Smith consistently praised Ryan, but he did not commit to being the team’s quarterback in 2022 – constantly saying he didn’t want to entrust himself to the corner despite how much he respected the veteran. Leader.
“There aren’t many guys like Matt who can run the level he does,” Smith said. “Driving, the real driving behind the scenes. The way he prepares. He’s the same guy every day. That’s a huge compliment to him.”
Meanwhile, Ryan made it clear in January that he hopes to stay with the club for his 15th season – something he has said every time he’s been asked for months. He said he believed Smith, in what the Hawks built him and what they did with the slate they had.
36-year-old Ryan – turning 37 in May – has been a staunch advocate for the Falcons since the club put them third in 2008. The Falcons had hoped he would be the next midfielder after Michael Vick, whom the team moved on after a scandal Dogfighting that sent him to prison.
Almost immediately, Ryan proved to be a good choice. His first pass was a touchdown—62 yards off Michael Jenkins—and he ended up as the NFL Newcomer of the Year in 2008. The 6-foot-4, 217-pound Ryan has been one of the team leaders since, player Always in the most important position in the sport.
In his 14 years at Atlanta, he only missed three games – two in 2009 and one in 2019. He threw for at least 4,000 yards every season from 2011 until last season, when he threw for 3,968 yards. He’s had at least 20 touchdown passes every year since the junior season in 2008, when he was 16.
Ryan has claimed the Pro Bowl four times with the Falcons, but there has been no season more impressive than 2016, when Ryan completed 69.9% of his passes for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns with seven interceptions.
He was named the NFL Player of the Year and led Atlanta to the Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots. The Super Bowl will be one of his lasting legacy with the Falcons. Atlanta led 28-3 over the Patriots in the third quarter but ended up losing 34-28 in overtime.
Ryan ran into the playoffs the following year, in 2017, but the Hawks haven’t had a winning record at any point since then.
In those four seasons, Ryan was fired 40 or more times in each of those seasons. He has rarely had competent defenses around him over the past four seasons and played last season with a roster that saw the receiver traded. Julio Jonesreceiver Calvin Ridley He misses three quarters of the season so he can focus on his mental health and Russell Gig Injured for a quarter of the season.
Four straight losing seasons combined with a massive contract — Ryan racked up a cap in excess of $48 million — made Ryan a potentially underrated player. And now, like many of his contemporaries – Tom BradyPeyton Manning Matthew Stafford And the Russell Wilson He will finish his career in a place other than where he started.
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