Seahawks in Blockbuster Trade Talks for 4-Time Pro Bowl QB: Report

Pete Carroll John Schneider

Getty The pressure is on Seahawks general manager John Schneider (left) and head coach Pete Carroll.

Despite the Seattle Seahawks’ glowing endorsement of Drew Lock, the team appears to be exploring blockbuster trades for another quarterback. CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reported that the Seahawks have made calls about potential trades for both Baker Mayfield and Matt Ryan.

“I’m told the Seahawks would ‘prefer to add an experienced veteran starting quarterback,'” Anderson tweeted on March 18, 2022. “Inquiry* calls have gone out to the Falcons about Matt Ryan, Cleveland on Baker Mayfield and others, per league source.”

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Ryan Threw for 3,968 Yards & 20 Touchdowns in 2021

Ryan threw for 3,968 yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 67% of his passes last season. The Falcons quarterback had previously thrown for more than 4,400 in eight of his previous nine seasons through 2020. Ryan was named the NFL MVP in 2016 while leading Atlanta to a Super Bowl appearance.

Similar to Russell Wilson, the 36-year-old quarterback has another two seasons remaining on his five-year, $150 million contract. Ryan has a $16.25 million salary in 2022, which bumps up to $20.5 million in 2023. The Falcons and Ryan had agreed to a contract restructure prior to the Watson trade talks, but it has yet to be processed, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

“Just a reminder: Falcons and Matt Ryan agreed to push back the $7.5 million roster bonus due to the Atlanta QB today until Tuesday, giving Ryan four extra days to vet his trade options, per sources,” Schefter detailed via Twitter on March 18.

March 22 Is the Likely Deadline for a Potential Ryan Trade

It remains to be seen what the Seahawks would have to give up to land Ryan, but the team now has a plethora of draft selections as a result of the Russell Wilson trade, including three picks in the first two rounds in April. Ryan’s roster bonus has been pushed back to March 22, which could serve as the unofficial deadline for a potential Ryan deal with the Seahawks or another team.

“Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Falcons QB Matt Ryan agreed to delay the trigger on his $7.5 million roster bonus from today until Tuesday,” Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer wrote on March 18. “Logistically, it really doesn’t change much for Ryan (unless they cut him, which I assume they wouldn’t), since payment of the $7.5 million, per the contract, isn’t due until April 15 anyway. Really, the only difference it makes is who’d be responsible for it—Tuesday is the ‘earned’ date, so whoever’s roster he’s on then will be on the hook to pay for it.”

The Falcons Pushed Back Ryan’s Contract Restructure

Breer added that the Falcons were expected to work with Ryan to find a new destination to his liking had the team been able to acquire Deshaun Watson. It remains to be seen if the Falcons will continue to explore trades for Ryan now that Watson has signed with Cleveland.

“Why would Ryan do the Falcons a solid here?” Breer added. “Well, he’s had a great relationship with the team that drafted him over their 14 years together. And I’d assume that if he’s doing right by the team here, the team will do right by him if they land Watson and decide to trade him—which in this case would mean giving him some say in where he winds up. Props to Ryan for handling all of this the way he has.”

The Seahawks have also been linked to Mayfield, who has formally requested a trade.

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