Breaking Down The Matt Ryan Trade

Story posted March 22, 2022 in

In 2008, the Atlanta Falcons selected Matt Ryan from Boston College to become the presumed face of the franchise. Now, 14 years later, Ryan has taken the team to the playoffs six times, reaching the NFC championship game twice and piloting the team to a Super Bowl appearance in 2017.

In that time, Ryan has been named to the Pro Bowl four times and is the recipient of the 2016 Offensive Player of the Year and NFL MVP.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a statement released following his trade, “Matt Ryan has been the epitome of a franchise quarterback during his time here in Atlanta. He has represented this organization with great class, professionalism and leadership, both on and off the field.”

Now, after nearly a decade in a half in Atlanta, Ryan will play for a new team when he takes the gridiron this fall.

On Monday, Matt Ryan was traded from the Falcons to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a 2022 third-round pick. Ryan will now slot in as the starting quarterback for the team following their trade of Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders earlier in the offseason. Ryan will restructure his deal according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, and now the final two years will include guarantees, with $54 million left on his contract. The Colts will also pick up his $7.5 million roster bonus.

For the Colts, this is a vote of confidence in Ryan to take the helm and bring this young roster to the playoffs. General Manager Chris Ballard said, “Matt's leadership and skill set will complement our roster's growth and success. He's long been a great ambassador for the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons, and we're excited he can continue his accomplished career in Indianapolis." Ballard now makes his third move for a new starter in as many years, swinging a trade for Wentz last offseason and inking Phillip Rivers to a deal the year prior.

In Ryan, the Colts get a proven veteran still capable of producing strong football. Last season, Ryan lost receiver Calvin Ridley early in the season, and also worked on learning the new offense of head coach Arthur Smith, but still posted 3,968 yards with 20 TDs and 12 INTs.

Ryan will inherit an arguably improved young weaponry headlined by wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. who’s coming off an 1,000 yard season last year and All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor. Not only that, but with a strong young defense and extensive cap room, this is a team that looks primed with the resources to compete for a playoff spot again in the upcoming season. The Colts hope Ryan can vault them over the hump and be the right leader to take this team to the promised land.

For the Falcons, the team inked a two-year deal with former second overall pick from Oregon, Marcus Mariota. Mariota will look to earn a starting spot with the team, as he reunites with former offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. Mariota holds a 29-32 record as a starter over 61 career starts, and has proven that he has the tools to be a capable starter.

The Falcons will look to harness the 28 year old Hawaii native’s tools to try to build a competitive football team next year. However, one has to think that this move could be a precursor to the eventual addition of a rookie quarterback, with Malik Willis from Liberty University being a potential option amongst others.

Dylan Price is a first-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email