Matt Ryan

The Colts acquired veteran Falcons great Matt Ryan in exchange for a 2022 third-round draught selection on Monday, in yet another big-name quarterback trade.

The move puts a stop to trade rumors surrounding the Atlanta veteran, who was allegedly given clearance to scout prospective landing locations during the Falcons’ unsuccessful pursuit of Deshaun Watson. The cash-strapped Atlanta Falcons had been working around Matt Ryan’s massive deal for years, but with Monday’s trade — which sent Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a 2022 third-round selection — the organization can now start looking ahead.

Matt Ryan Supposedly Wanted To Stay With The Colts

Unfortunately, dealing Ryan will result in a $40.525 million dead cap charge, the most in NFL history.

On the plus side, the Falcons will free up more than $9 million in salary space while they search for a new starting quarterback. After the Ryan deal, the Falcons have $8,459,664 in salary space, according to Over The Cap forecasts.

Atlanta is reportedly interested in free-agent quarterback Marcus Mariota, who previously worked with Falcons head coach Arthur Smith in Tennessee.

Whether or not Mariota is signed, the club will have to consider picking a quarterback next month. Malik Jackson, Kenny Pickett, and Desmond Ridder are among the probable candidates. Ryan was rumored to desire to stay in Atlanta, despite head coach Arthur Smith’s refusal to clarify whether or not the Falcons planned to keep its veteran quarterback.

The Colts’ move raises further concerns about Baker Mayfield’s future with the Browns, who are virtually surely on their way out after acquiring Watson. Mayfield was said to choose Indianapolis as his next destination after Cleveland, but that chance has vanished with the Colts’ acquisition of Ryan.