1:50 PM ET
ATLANTA — After 14 seasons and becoming the best quarterback in franchise history, the Atlanta Falcons are moving on from Matt Ryan.
Atlanta traded Ryan on Monday to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a 2022 third-round pick, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini.
Conversations about Ryan’s departure picked up at the start of the new league year, when the Falcons became part of the group of teams inquiring about trading for quarterback Deshaun Watson. Higher-ups throughout Atlanta’s organization met with Watson, a Gainesville, Georgia native, and tried to lure him to the Falcons despite 22 open civil suits ranging from inappropriate conduct to sexual assault against female massage therapists.
As part of that pursuit, the Falcons and Ryan pushed back a $7.5 million roster bonus due March 18 back five days to both let the Watson courtship play out and allow Ryan to seek out trade partners. Watson ended up waiving his no-trade clause to go to Cleveland, but it also put the Falcons in a position where it had very publicly sought out a succession plan for Ryan.
Source: ESPN NFL