Matt Ryan Names Preferred Destination if Traded: Report

Matt Ryan

Getty Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan reportedly named his preferred trade destination.

Matt Ryan has spent the last 14 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. But with the Falcons shopping for Deshaun Watson, it’s possible the Ryan era in northern Georgia is coming to an end.

NFL Insider Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported March 18 that the Falcons are one of two remaining teams in the Watson sweepstakes. Rapoport also reported earlier in the week that if the Falcons do land Watson in a trade, Atlanta is probably not going to include Ryan in the deal.

That means the Falcons would need to complete another trade to a different team to move Ryan.

“It’s hard to put all these guys in the deal. It’s actually much easier to do them as separate deals,” Rapoport said while appearing as a guest on The Pat McAfee Show.

“If the Falcons were to get Deshaun Watson … then I’d say, you’re probably looking at Matt Ryan going somewhere else.”

Media personality Benjamin Allbright of KOA Colorado reports Ryan’s preferred trade destination would be the Indianapolis Colts.

ALL the latest Colts news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Colts newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Colts!

Can Matt Ryan be a Philip Rivers 2.0?

The best record the Colts have posted since Andrew Luck’s retirement came with Philip Rivers at quarterback in 2020. The Colts signed Rivers to a 1-year deal when he was 38 years old then Rivers retired the following offseason.

Ryan would offer the Colts a lot of the same attributes Rivers did when the Colts went 11-5 in 2020. As a veteran signal caller, Ryan brings a steady presence and excellent leadership skills. He’s not the MVP quarterback he was in 2016, but Ryan appears to have enough arm strength to remain a competent quarterback as long as a team surrounds him with good offensive pieces.

The Colts still have questions at wide receiver, but Jonathan Taylor would be the best running back Ryan has played with in several years.

Ryan registered 3,968 passing yards and 20 touchdowns with 12 interceptions last season. Despite the 17th game added on the schedule, it was the first time since 2010 that Ryan failed to throw for at least 4,000 yards.

But the Falcons offense didn’t support Ryan very well in 2021. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley left in the middle of the season to work on his mental health, and the Falcons finished 31st in rushing.

Turning 37 in May, Ryan is a year younger than Rivers was when he joined the Colts. Rivers threw for 4,169 yards and 24 touchdowns with 11 interceptions during his lone season in Indianapolis. The Colts finished the 2020 season 11th in passing yards.

Have the Falcons Already Burned Bridges With Matt Ryan?

Colts fans hoping to land Ryan in a trade are rooting for the Falcons to get Watson. But it’s possible that even if Watson doesn’t go to Atlanta, Ryan won’t return to the Falcons.

That’s what could happen with the Cleveland Browns and Baker Mayfield. The Browns expressed interest in acquiring Watson, and then when they fell out of the running for the quarterback, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported Mayfield requested a trade.

“It’s in the mutual interest of both sides for us to move on,” Mayfield told Adam Schefter of ESPN. “The relationship is too far gone to mend. It’s in the best interests of both sides to move on.”

As of right now, Ryan appears to be cooperating with Atlanta’s attempt to land Watson. Schefter reported the quarterback agreed to push back his $7.5 million roster bonus due March 18 to give himself four extra days to vet trade options.

Sympathy has poured in for Ryan on social media, especially with how he’s handled the Falcons exploring a trade for Watson. Ryan has not said anything publicly yet about the possible Watson deal or potentially getting traded.

But it’s still fair to wonder if Ryan will accept returning to Atlanta if the Falcons aren’t able to land Watson.

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments