Colts Acquire Quarterback Matt Ryan In Trade With Atlanta Falcons

Ryan, the 2016 NFL MVP, is eighth all-time in passing yards and ninth all-time in passing touchdowns. 

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The Colts on Monday acquired quarterback Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a 2022 third-round draft pick (No. 82 overall).

Ryan brings 222 games of starting experience, an MVP award and nearly 60,000 passing yards to the Colts after spending 14 seasons with the Falcons. Originally the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, Ryan quarterbacked the Falcons to six playoff appearances and 10 postseason games over his time in Atlanta; he's been one of the most durable players in the league, too, having missed only three games in his entire career.

"We're thrilled we had a chance to acquire a proven veteran in Matt Ryan who brings tremendous experience to our team," general manager Chris Ballard said. "Matt's leadership and skillset will complement our roster's growth and success. He's long been a great ambassador for the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons, and we're excited he can continue his accomplished career in Indianapolis."

Ryan's finest season came in 2016, in which he was named NFL MVP and set career bests in completion percentage (69.9 percent), yards (4,944), touchdowns (38), interceptions (seven), yards per attempt (9.3) and passer rating (117.1). Two years later, Ryan had a similarly fantastic season, with a completion percentage of 69.4 percent, 4,924 yards, 35 touchdowns, seven interceptions, 8.1 yards per attempt and a passer rating of 108.1.

"I've long admired Matt for his steady, methodical approach to the game," head coach Frank Reich said. "He is one of the most productive quarterbacks in the league and has spearheaded numerous fourth quarter game-winning drives. Matt will be a fantastic representative for our organization, and I'm excited to get to work with him and the rest of the team this offseason."

Back at the NFL Combine earlier this year, Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith both praised Ryan for the work he's done on and off the field – and what he still has left in the tank in his late 30's.

"He comes in and works every day and does everything he can do to help the team win," Fontenot said. "… From my standpoint, I really appreciate Matt and what he's been in terms of a leader, in terms of worker in terms of professional, everything he's done here in Atlanta."

"I think Matt's got a lot of good football left him," Smith said.

Ryan in 2021 completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,968 yards with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He's owned a passer rating over 90 in each of the last six seasons, starting with his MVP-winning 2016 in which he led the NFL in yards per attempt (9.3), passer rating (117.1) and quarterback rating (79.6) while leading the Falcons to the Super Bowl.

Ryan led the NFL in completion percentage in 2012 (68.6) and in completions in 2019 (408) and 2020 (407).

With Ryan under center, the Falcons went 120-102 in his 222 starts.

Ryan is just 265 yards shy of 60,000 in his career and is 33 touchdowns from reaching 400. His career interception rate of 2.1 percent ranks third all time among quarterbacks with 5,000 or more pass attempts, behind only Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

Ryan's other all-time ranks:

Passing yards

  1. Tom Brady (84,250)
  2. Drew Brees (80,358)
  3. Peyton Manning (71,940)
  4. Brett Favre (71,838)
  5. Ben Roethlisberger (64,088)
  6. Philip Rivers (63,440)
  7. Dan Marino (61,361)
  8. Matt Ryan (59,735)
  9. Eli Manning (57,023)
  10. Aaron Rodgers (55,360)

Passing touchdowns

  1. Tom Brady (624)
  2. Drew Brees (571)
  3. Peyton Manning (539)
  4. Brett Favre (508)
  5. Aaron Rodgers (449)
  6. Philip Rivers (421)
  7. Dan Marino (420)
  8. Ben Roethlisberger (418)
  9. Matt Ryan (367)
  10. Eli Manning (366)

Completion percentage (minimum 5,000 attempts)

  1. Drew Brees (67.7 percent)
  2. Matt Ryan (65.5 percent)
  3. Aaron Rodgers (65.3 percent)
  4. Peyton Manning (65.3 percent)
  5. Philip Rivers (64.9 percent)
  6. Ben Roethlisberger (64.4 percent)
  7. Tom Brady (64.2 percent)
  8. Joe Montana (63.2 percent)
  9. Matthew Stafford (63 percent)
  10. Alex Smith (62.6 percent)

Passer rating (minimum 5,000 attempts)

  1. Aaron Rodgers (104,5)
  2. Drew Brees (98.7)
  3. Tom Brady (97.6)
  4. Peyton Manning (96.5)
  5. Philip Rivers (95.2)
  6. Matt Ryan (94.2)
  7. Ben Roethlisberger (93.5)
  8. Joe Montana (92.5)
  9. Matthew Stafford (91.1)
  10. Carson Palmer (87.9)

On Monday the Colts acquired quarterback Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a 2022 third-round draft pick (No. 82 overall). Ryan brings 222 games of starting experience, an MVP award and nearly 60,000 passing yards to the Colts after spending 14 seasons with the Falcons.

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