ESPN analyst Mike Greenberg thinks the Colts should trade for Falcons QB Matt Ryan.
At this point, it’s no secret that the Indianapolis Colts have a quarterback problem. Philip Rivers was signed to a one-year, $25 million deal because he was thought to be a dependable stopgap option who could pick apart opposing defenses behind a dominant offensive line.
That, unfortunately, has been anything but the case through five games. Opponents are evidently game planning to neutralize Indy’s rushing attack and daring Rivers to beat them with his declining arm strength and suspect decision-making. That strategy has worked to perfection so far as the Colts have lost both of their games this season in which he dropped back to pass 30 or more times.
In short, Rivers’ putrid run of form has all but confirmed that the Colts will let him walk once his contract expires after the 2020 campaign, which has fueled speculation in terms of who general manager Chris Ballard will pursue as the long-term answer under center.
The most notable links have included Dak Prescott and Sam Darnold, both of whom have murky futures with their respective franchises and are in the market for contract extensions. However, for reasons we’ll never understand, ESPN pundit Mike Greenberg is a big proponent of Indianapolis striking a deal for Falcons QB Matt Ryan.
In fairness to Greenberg, we don’t disagree with the notion that Indy would become an instant championship contender with Ryan under center. However, Rivers has been so inconsistent that you can say that for the majority of quarterbacks in the NFL.
There’s also the fact that Ryan hasn’t bathed himself in glory this season for the Falcons, who are currently 0-5 and just fired their head coach and GM. The former MVP obviously can’t overcome the deficiencies of Atlanta’s coaching staff and injury-riddled defense, but it speaks volumes to his regression — he’s completing just 63.2% of his passes (25th in NFL) for 1,472 yards and seven touchdowns compared to four turnovers (three interceptions, one fumble) — that he hasn’t been able to win games with his elite complement of weapons.
That isn’t to say that Ryan is no longer a starting-caliber QB, but why on earth would the Colts agree to give up draft capital to take on his bloated contract, which has three years and approximately $84.8 million remaining?
Ryan’s deal does have a potential out after 2021, but it would make zero sense for Ballard to unload future assets for potentially just one season’s worth of an aging quarterback. He essentially did the same thing this year by signing Rivers (if you swap draft picks for cap space) and look how that turned out.
On paper, we don’t hate the idea of trading for Matty Ice. However, when you take the logistics into account, you can’t help but identify more negatives than positives. Because of that, we’d much rather Ballard and the Colts look elsewhere.