Colts acquire veteran quarterback Matt Ryan in trade with the Falcons

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was traded to the Indianapolis Colts on Monday.
(Adrian Kraus / Associated Press)

The Indianapolis Colts acquired quarterback Matt Ryan in a trade Monday with the Atlanta Falcons.

Indy will send a third-round pick, No. 82 overall, for the longtime Falcons star, the Falcons announced.

Ryan, who turns 37 in May, led Atlanta to its second Super Bowl appearance following the 2016 season, the same year he was named the league’s MVP.


Ryan’s arrival means the Colts will be starting a new opening-day quarterback for the sixth consecutive year. Indy traded last year’s starter, Carson Wentz, to the Washington Commanders earlier this month.

Hours after finalizing a contract extension for Matthew Stafford, the Rams traded veteran wide receiver Robert Woods to the Tennessee Titans.

March 19, 2022

The trade with the Colts was quickly worked out quickly, giving Indianapolis the big-time quarterback it has been pursuing since Andrew Luck’s surprise retirement prior to the 2018 season at age 29.

The deal for Ryan came shortly after the Falcons made a highly publicized but failed bid to acquire Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

After Watson supposedly narrowed his potential choices for a trade to New Orleans and Atlanta — and with plenty of speculation that the Falcons were the favorite since Watson is a Georgia native — he stunningly changed his mind and accepted a $230-million, fully guaranteed deal with the Cleveland Browns. The Texans received three first-round picks in the deal.

When their public courting of Watson fell apart, it became clear Ryan did not want to return to a team where he had played his entire NFL career and then openly tried to replace him.