Another day, another big trade in this unforgettable 2022 NFL offseason.
With the failed pursuit of Deshaun Watson no doubt souring the relationship between the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan, the Falcons are trading their longtime franchise quarterback to the Indianapolis Colts. All they’ll get in return is a third-round pick.
This obviously takes the Colts out of the running for a Baker Mayfield trade, even though Mayfield reportedly eyed the Colts as his next team. Ryan won the 2016 NFL MVP and led Atlanta to the Super Bowl, famously leading the team to a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots. Yup, that’s what that game is most notable for.
The 37-year-old Ryan was due his $7.5 million roster bonus today, so the Falcons either had to deal him now or give him his bonus. They settled on parting ways with the man who has been their starter for all but three games since the 2008 season.
Matt Ryan's cap numbers are big in Atlanta, but they wouldn't be for a team trading for him. If Indy lands him, they'd be responsible for $23.75 million for this year ($7.5M roster bonus, $16.25M base), and could keep him at $28 million next year. https://t.co/8AaHioXZcS— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 21, 2022
The Falcons are gonna be tanking. That roster is atrocious and the dead cap is enormous.
Matt Ryan’s trade will incur a dead cap hit of $40.525M for the Falcons, the largest dead cap hit in NFL history by nearly $7M.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 21, 2022
One quarterback the Falcons are looking at is Marcus Mariota, who knows head coach Arthur Smith when they were both on the Tennessee Titans.
As for the Colts, they hope that Ryan will have similar success as Philip Rivers did in the 2020 season when they went to the playoffs with an 11-5 record. They’ve had a different Week 1 starter for the past five seasons and now they’ll have a sixth.
We’ll see what more comes of the quarterback carousel with Jimmy Garoppolo and Mayfield still yet to be traded, and whether the Seahawks are going to add another QB this offseason or ride with Drew Lock.