The Matt Ryan experiment lasted just one season in Indianapolis. Ryan was released by the Indianapolis Colts, the team announced Wednesday, parting ways with the former MVP after the worst season of his career.
The Colts save $17,205,882 of cap space with the move, but took on $18 million in dead cap as a result. Ryan had a fully guarantted salary on the third day of the new league year (March 17), so the move was imminent.
Ryan was benched twice by the Colts in his lone season with the team, as he completed 67% of his passes for 3,057 yards with 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 12 starts (83.9 rating). Turnovers were Ryan's downfall -- fumbling 15 times to go along with the 13 interceptions -- as was playing behind a poor offensive line, which resulted in 38 sacks. He also had a separated shoulder in his throwing arm during the season.
The Colts hold the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and are expected to take a quarterback in that spot. They started six different quarterbacks in Week 1 the past six years, which will be seven consecutive different Week 1 quarterbacks come the start of the 2023 season.
Potential landing spots
San Francisco 49ers: Could Ryan reunite with Kyle Shanahan after their stint together with the Atlanta Falcons? With the free agent signing of Sam Darnold, that's an unlikely move -- but the 49ers probably regret striking to sign a quarterback as quick as they did.
With Darnold, Trey Lance, and Brock Purdy -- there's no room for Ryan.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Buccaneers could use a veteran quarterback to compete with Kyle Trask for a starting job (should they choose to go with Trask for the 2023 season). Ryan would get an opportunity to start in Tampa Bay if he won the job, while mentoring a young quarterback in the process.
Pending on how free agency goes, Ryan will certainly be available once the other quarterbacks are off the board.
Washington Commanders: Eric Bieniemy could use a veteran signal-caller to compete with Sam Howell for the starting job, as an offensive innovator like him could be the coach to salvage Ryan's career in keep him in the NFL. A backup job in Washington could be good for Ryan if he doesn't beat out Howell, as he'll be the first option if Howell struggles in 2023.