The Indianapolis Colts have reportedly informed veteran quarterback Matt Ryan he will be released after just one season with the organization, per NFL Network.
Ryan would have counted $35 million against the salary cap in 2023, and the Colts will be losing money with this move. While the move will give the Colts $17.2 million in cap savings, it will also represent a $18 million dead cap hit.
It was a tumultuous season all around for the Colts, who fired head coach Frank Reich mid-season and replaced him with first-time head coach Jeff Saturday in an interim role.
With Stane Steichen aboard, the offensive-minded head coach is looking for some change after Ryan struggled to get anything going in Indy.
Ryan was the guy Reich entrusted to lead the Colts to the playoffs after they missed in 2021 following a Week 17 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Carson Wentz was quarterbacking the team then, and he was traded to the Washington Commanders to make room for Ryan.
In his 15th NFL season, Ryan went 4-7-1 as a starter, throwing for 3,057 yards, his lowest output since his second season with the Falcons in 2009. Ryan also threw 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He was second in the league in total turnovers with 18, behind Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen’s 19.
The question now becomes whether Ryan hangs up his cleats after 15 years in the league.
Quarterback-needy teams are dwindling in the league after the Las Vegas Raiders (Jimmy Garoppolo), Carolina Panthers (Andy Dalton, No. 1 overall pick) and Falcons (Taylor Heinicke) all signed a signal-caller.
The 37-year-old Ryan won the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2008 followed by the 2016 MVP and Offensive Player of the Year Award. Ryan has also been named to four Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team, and he stands at seventh all-time in passing yards with 62,792.
Ryan, a product of Boston College, was the third overall pick by Atlanta in the 2008 NFL Draft.