Matt Ryan leaves door open to Colts return in 2023 amid retirement talk

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 04: Matt Ryan #2 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 04: Matt Ryan #2 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan doesn’t sound like someone who has given up on football. Will he return in 2023?

The Indianapolis Colts are once again in the quarterback market, as the trade for Matt Ryan failed to find them the consistency this franchise has needed under center. With the No. 4 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft in their possession along with ample cap space, Ryan may not be back for a second go-around in Indy.

Ryan completed 67% of his passes and threw for 3,000 yards, but he threw just 14 touchdowns against 13 interceptions while developing a severe fumbling problem. All signs point to whomever the new head coach is choosing not to retain Ryan, as he looks nothing like the MVP he was with the Atlanta Falcons.

Ryan himself doesn’t sound like someone who has given up on football, however. Despite retirement rumors starting to swirl, Ryan seems to think that he can squeeze one or two more good years out of himself before hanging it up.

“I still love playing,” Ryan said, via Stephen Holder of ESPN. “I’m obviously not committed to anything. Got to see how it shakes out. But I still love playing and feel like, honestly, there’s a lot of good football [left]. So, we’ll see.” Is Ryan going to come back to Indy in 2023?

Will Matt Ryan return to the Colts?

With multiple quality veteran options on the market (including Derek Carr) and the No. 4 pick in the draft belonging to Indianapolis, Ryan likely won’t go into the season as an undisputed starter. He’ll either back up the new guy or serve as a veteran mentor for the hypothetical draftee if he returns.

During the postseason, Ryan appeared on CBS as an analyst, perhaps in an attempt to join the growing QB-turned-talking head pipeline. It worked out for Tony Romo and Tom Brady, but the results were not very good for Drew Brees. Would Ryan fare well on  TV?

Ryan would get $12 million in guaranteed salary if he chooses to play next season. Ryan will get that money if he’s cut, with the Colts having to pay him another $17.2 million if he isn’t cut before March 17. That is quite a pricy chunk of change for a player who isn’t the franchise savior.

It’s a shame that a Hall of Fame career like this one is ending on such a sour and anticlimactic note. Ryan should have gone out in a blaze of glory fighting for a championship, not being a potential cap casualty for one of the worst teams in the league.