As expected, the Indianapolis Colts have moved on from veteran quarterback Matt Ryan after just one season.
Multiple reports came trickling in on Wednesday that Indianapolis has made the move official one day before the official start of NFL free agency. Zach Klein WSB in Atlanta was the first to break the news.
The NFL MVP with the Atlanta Falcons back in 2016, Ryan was absolutely atrocious in his only season with the Colts. He threw 14 touchdowns against 13 interceptions in 12 starts and was benched multiple times.
Ryan will now likely call it quits on a career that could eventually land him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s either that or latching on with another team as a backup in NFL free agency.
The larger question here is what the Indianapolis Colts are going to do at quarterback under new head coach Shane Steichen. They have no internal options to replace Ryan. It’s fair to assume that Indianapolis will add both a veteran and a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Related: Indianapolis Colts 2023 mock draft
Indianapolis Colts QB options after releasing Matt Ryan
First off, the release of Ryan saves a cool $17.02 million against the 2023 NFL salary cap. After trading Pro Bowl cornerback Stephon Gilmore to the Dallas Cowboys earlier on Tuesday, Indianapolis has the cash to sign a veteran on the free agent market.
Options here include Baker Mayfield, Gardner Minshew and former Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett. It’s slim pickings with the top free agents having already signed with other teams.
There is also an off chance that the Colts opt to make a run at franchise-tagged Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson. Teams are free to negotiate with Jackson in free agency after he had the non-exclusive tag placed on him. It still seems highly unlikely given that any move to acquire Jackson would cost two first-round picks.
Speaking of draft picks, the Indianapolis Colts boast the fourth overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. They were in on a move up with the Chicago Bears for the first pick before the Carolina Panthers swooped in.
Perhaps, Indianapolis sees if the division-rival Houston Texans are willing to take calls about the second pick. Either way, general manager Chris Ballard and Co. are still guaranteed one of the top-four quarterbacks in the draft class.
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