According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on ‘The Pat McAfee Show’, the Indianapolis Colts trading for Atlanta Falcons starting quarterback Matt Ryan is a real possibility, depending on if the Falcons can ultimately land the Houston Texans’ Deshaun Watson:
The former 3rd overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft completed 375 of 560 pass attempts (67%) for 3,968 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions during 17 starts this past season.
The 14-year veteran would bring a wealth of experience to the Colts with 222 career starts and has a highly accomplished career as an NFL MVP, 1x NFL First-Team All-Pro, 4x NFL Pro Bowler, NFL Offensive Player of the Year award winner, and NFL Rookie of the Year recipient.
That being said, Ryan’s play has been steadily declining over the past few seasons—with a diminished arm, and it’s fair to question whether the Colts need a quarterback who will be 37 years old entering the season, as well as another band-aid—as just a short-term stopgap.
The hope is that Ryan would be similar to veteran quarterback Philip Rivers back in 2020, namely solidify the starting quarterback position, take care of the football, and make smart and accurate decisions on the field—while providing top leadership in the locker room.
However, Rivers also came with his own limitations, particularly a lack of arm strength and nonexistent mobility—which could also be shortfalls of bringing in Ryan at this late stage of his impressive playing career. He’s also become a little more turnover prone with age.
Some people may get carried away with this move based upon the big name—and Ryan’s former MVP year, but I’m not sure the tape backs up that he’s been a truly difference-making passer over the past three seasons.
Nevertheless, the veteran could be an upgrade and stabilizing presence to the Colts starting quarterback position—helping them reach the AFC playoffs again, but not without his own set of risks and shortcomings.
Whatever the case may be, a resolution should be reached soon:
Falcons now have pushed back the $7.5 million roster bonus due Friday to QB Matt Ryan to Tuesday, giving Atlanta four extra days to hear the Deshaun Watson decision and be able to trade Ryan if necessary, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 18, 2022