Things didn’t go quite as planned in Indianapolis for former Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan. After being traded to the Colts before the 2022 season, the offensive engineer struggled and was benched late in the season.
Ryan and the team finished a woeful 4-7-1 and were basically out of contention by around mid-season. For the 2016 NFL MVP, things were pretty up and down. He led the Colts to a few dramatic victories but posted the worst numbers of his career.
He threw for just 3,057 yards in 12 games, along with 14 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. Perhaps one statistic stands out as the most glaring of all: Ryan fumbled the ball a career-high 15 times in 2022. That’s a cardinal sin for any signal-caller.
This continues a pattern for Matt Ryan, as he hasn’t started for a team with more than 7 wins in a season since 2017.
Despite that, the management in Indianapolis thought that pairing the veteran with all-world running back Jonathan Taylor and a potentially potent offense might lead to a playoff berth. Unfortunately, Taylor would only play in 11 games and rush for 861 yards. Expected to be a bell cow ball carrier, he reached the end zone only four times.
Now, the franchise is set to release him. For the first time since being drafted by Atlanta in 2008, Matt Ryan will be without a home or a huddle. Despite whispers that he might be contemplating retirement, the veteran QB says he’s still got a lot of passes left in his right arm.
“I still love playing,” Ryan told Stephen Holder of ESPN, regarding what the future holds. “I’m obviously not committed to anything. Got to see how it shakes out. But I still love playing and still feel like, honestly, there’s a lot of good football in my body. So, we’ll see what happens.”
One reason Matt Ryan is likely to suit up somewhere next year is his contract.
In professional sports, money talks. And in this situation, it’s screaming at the top of its lungs. Ryan has way too much on the table to simply walk away, At least, not right now.
If Matty Ice retires, he doesn’t get his $12 million in guaranteed salary. If he’s cut, he gets every bit of it. That’s definitely going to happen, because if the Colts don’t cut him before March 17, he will be owed another $17.2 million fully guaranteed. Alongside the numbers, both parties have expressed that the relationship is over now.
Once he’s finally released, Ryan will be free to sign anywhere he chooses. However, odds are that he will be brought in initially as a backup anywhere he chooses to go.
At the same time, the quarterback carousel in the NFL continues, so there’s a strong possibility that the former Super Bowl starter could be leading a squad at some point in 2023.