The 37 year old former 2016 NFL MVP has had a highly decorated playing career, with 14 past largely productive seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. That being said, his lone recent season with the Indianapolis Colts during the 2022 campaign was an utter disappointment.
Ryan showcased a diminished arm, poor pocket presence, turnover proneness, and never really looked comfortable within the Colts offense—playing behind a porous Indy offensive line and throwing to a pedestrian receiver corps (as well as suffering through the extended absence of Jonathan Taylor).
He was benched twice, and due a $35.2M cap hit in 2023, it’s always made sense for the Colts to cut their losses and at least recoup the $17.2M in cap savings. The question hasn’t been whether Ryan would get cut this offseason (although there was always the long shot possibility of his retirement), but what has taken so long for the Colts to finally waive him.
Ryan simply is due too much money to make sense as a veteran mentor for a top rookie quarterback, as the Colts could sign someone like say Jacoby Brissett for much cheaper.
Together, with both the recent Gilmore trade and Ryan’s imminent release, the Colts will have created an extra $27.1M in available team salary cap space.