Matt Ryan will wear a different uniform in 2022 as he is now a member of the Indianapolis Colts after spending his first 14 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. It was a surprising move since Ryan is arguably the best player in Falcons history, but he understands why the move was made. While appearing on The Ryen Russillo Podcast, Ryan explained why he's no longer with the Falcons, and it has to do with Deshaun Watson.
"I kind of got filled into the loop that they were gonna look into Deshaun Watson," Ryan said, per NFL.com. "At that point, I said, 'Okay, I understand,' you know, but I also need to look into what I need to look into, and if this doesn't go down, find out if this is probably still the best fit for me. And as that week went on, and I just kind of looked into — on my end — what might be the best possible landing spot, or what was best for myself and my family moving forward. As we did that research, to me, it became one spot."
The Falcons traded Ryan to the Colts after they tried to trade for Watson, who ended up joining the Cleveland Browns. Ryan's cap hit was close to $50 million as a member of the Falcons, which is another reason why they traded him to the Colts. But the 201 NFL MVP knows if the Falcons didn't go after Watson, he would likely still be in Atlanta.
"Um, you know, had none of this gone down, there's probably a chance," Ryan said when asked if he'd still be a Falcon had the team not pursued Watson. "A pretty good chance. But it did, you know, and so when it does, when the situation is changed, when the circumstances change, you know, I had always thought — like everybody — when you're drafted there and you play there, this is where I'm going to play my entire career. "
Ryan, 36, was selected No. 3 overall by the Falcons in 2008. In his career, Ryan was named Offensive Rookie of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, and named to the All-Pro First Team in 2016 and the Pro Bowl four times. Ryan has thrown for 59,735 yards and 367 touchdowns, and both stats are ranked in the top 10 in NFL history.