The Indianapolis Colts have once again decided to bench quarterback Matt Ryan and that puts Ryan’s future in the NFL in question.
Not many saw this NFL season unfolding the way it has for Matt Ryan and the Indianapolis Colts. When Indianapolis traded for Ryan back in March, optimism was at an all-time high. The franchise was raving about how they had the perfect leader in the veteran quarterback, and Ryan was talking about how excited he was and how he felt he could play many more years of quality football. It seemed like Indy would hit pause on its quarterback carousel and have the same starter for at least two seasons.
The optimism wasn’t just coming from inside the Colts organization either. Many media members throughout the NFL world were setting high expectations for Ryan and Indy, and believed Indianapolis was a serious threat to compete for a Super Bowl. Entering Week 16 of the season, we now know that couldn’t have been further from the truth.
The Colts are an underwhelming 4-9-1 and they just benched Matt Ryan for the second time this season. With three games left, this benching is likely for good, barring any injuries. While that means his 2022 season is over, there are still plenty of questions to answer about Ryan’s future in the NFL.
What will Matt Ryan and the Colts do after the season?
Ryan has one more season on his contract but it seems extremely unlikely that season will be played in Indianapolis if played at all. That means the Colts and Ryan will have some decisions to make. The first decision will be Ryan’s and he must decide if he wants to keep playing. Ryan will turn 38 years old this offseason with 15 seasons played in the NFL. He could call it a career and move into the next chapter of his life.
However, if Ryan is not ready to hang up the cleats and he feels he can still produce, then the decision-making shifts to the Colts. They will either decide to cut him or try and find a trade partner. Trading would be most beneficial for Indianapolis because the team would get something in return and could possibly get out of Ryan’s contract completely. If Indy does decide to go the trading route, the decisions shift to the rest of the NFL.
Does any team want Ryan and are they willing to give something up to get him? Will any interested teams take on all of the money for the final season of his contract? Those are questions that can only be answered once the offseason arrives. However, the assumption is that demand won’t be that high for Matt Ryan. He’ll be a 38-year-old quarterback entering his 16th season and coming off the worst season of his career.
While Ryan was certainly let down by the Colts in many aspects, the NFL often offers little to no grace. Even if Ryan still feels he can be productive in competent circumstances, the league may not give him the opportunity to prove it.