Atlanta Falcons to Trade Matt Ryan to AFC Team

The NFL just saw a big quarterback trade. According to multiple reports which were confirmed by Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Atlanta Falcons are trading Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts. In return, the Falcons will receive the Colts' third-round pick in this year's NFL Draft. This comes after the Falcons attempted to trade for former Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who ended up joining the Cleveland Browns.

It's been reported the Falcons and Colts have been working on a deal since Watson's decision. Ryan is owed a total of $23.75 million in cash next season and was set to earn a $7.5 roster bonus if he remained on the Falcons roster by the end of Monday. If Ryan, 36, doesn't sign a new contract with the Colts, the Falcons will be forced to eat a dead cap hit of $40.5 million. The Colts acquire Ryan after trading Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders. 

Ryan was drafted by the Falcons No. 3 overall in 2008. In his first pass attempt in the NFL, Ryan threw a touchdown, leading him to be named Offensive Rookie of the Year. In 2016, Ryan was named MVP and Offensive Player of the Year after completing 70% of his passes for 4,944 yards, 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He led the Falcons to a Super Bowl appearance that year but lost to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. In his career, Ryan has thrown for 59,735 yards and 367 touchdowns. Both numbers rank in the top 10 in NFL history.

In the fall, Ryan spoke exclusively to about possibly reaching the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "It's not on my mind right now," Ryan said. "I think that I've always felt like if you're worrying about those kinds of things or worrying about too far down the line, you're not worrying about what's important, and to me, I think I've always operated best when I keep my vision really tight and really small and focus on just what's in front of my face this week, of trying to be the best player I can be this week to give ourselves a chance to win games and I always thought that if you do it that way, the other things fall into place, and you might have records or you might get accolades, those kind of things fall into place if you handle your business the way that you need to."