Super Bowl Contender Could Make Move for Colts QB Matt Ryan, Says Analyst

Matt Ryan

Getty An NFL insider suggested an NFC contender may be interested in adding quarterback Matt Ryan for the 2023 season.

Quarterback Matt Ryan’s future with the Indianapolis Colts is murky at best. It’s possible that he could even retire at the end of the season.

But another scenario could see him landing with one of the hottest teams in the NFL heading into Week 16 — the San Francisco 49ers.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell suggested that given the amount of quarterback injuries the 49ers have experienced in recent years, they may be interested in adding Ryan during the 2023 offseason if the Colts cut the veteran signal caller. In that scenario, Ryan would reunite with his former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

“I wonder if Matt Ryan might make his way here if (or when) he’s cut by the Colts, given that he knows the Shanahan offense from their time together in Atlanta and would probably be in the best possible situation to try to win a Super Bowl ring,” wrote Barnwell.

Shanahan served as Falcons offensive coordinator in 2015 and 2016. Ryan won NFL MVP with Shanahan as his coordinator in 2016.

Colts Plan to Cut Matt Ryan?

Ryan has struggled during his first season in Indianapolis. While he’s led the Colts to four fourth-quarter comebacks, which accounts for all the team’s victories, Ryan is also first in the NFL in interceptions (13) and fumbles (15).

Entering 2023, Ryan will possess a $35.2 million cap hit. The Colts can save $17.2 million in salary cap space for next season by cutting the aging signal caller.

Barnwell wrote that if he’s released, the Colts could end up paying Ryan $35 million for one poor performing season, which obviously isn’t great. But it still might be the best path forward for the franchise if they want to maximize their cap room to sign free agents for 2023.

The ESPN insider didn’t identify any free agent quarterbacks the Colts may be interested in this offseason. While other analysts have thrown out big names such as Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson, it’s difficult to say anything definitively until Indianapolis finalizes its plan at general manager and head coach.

Barnwell predicted the Colts to add a quarterback in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

If that becomes the plan, it will be interesting to see if Indianapolis considers keeping Ryan to mentor the young signal caller.

How Ryan Could Fit With 49ers

The fit in San Francisco for Ryan is pretty obvious. With Shanahan in 2016, Ryan threw for 4,944 passing yards and 38 touchdowns while leading the NFL with 9.3 yards per pass. He won league MVP and led the Falcons to a Super Bowl appearance.

Clearly, Ryan isn’t the same quarterback now six seasons later. But he is familiar with Shanahan’s scheme, and San Francisco is a team that figures to be competing for a championship again in 2023.

The missing piece on Ryan’s resume is a Super Bowl ring. He won’t start in San Francisco. It’s even possible that Ryan could be the No. 3 quarterback on the 49ers depth chart next year if the Colts release him, and he chooses to head to San Francisco.

But if winning is Ryan’s only priority, then him signing with the 49ers would make sense.

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