The Falcons have traded their longtime franchise cornerstone to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2022 third-round draft pick. The trade frees up some salary cap space in 2022 and much more in 2023, although Ryan will remain a significant dead-cap hit on Atlanta this season.
How significant? The team will have to incur a dead cap hit of $40.525 million and it becomes the largest dead cap hit in NFL history.
Atlanta selected Ryan with the third pick of the 2008 draft as the team team looked to get away from the image they had in the wake of the Michael Vick dogfighting scandal. Ryan started for the Falcons from the first day of his rookie season in 2008, and would miss only three games over 14 seasons.
The best ability is availability and Ryan was always there.
He won NFL offensive Rookie of the Year in 2008, then followed that up by winning the NFL MVP in 2016. Ryan would lead the Falcons to the Super Bowl, and led the Patriots 28-3 in the third quarter in what was arguably the franchise’s last great moment.
We all know what happened as the Patriots mounted a furious comeback.
The Falcons reached the playoffs in six of Ryan’s 14 seasons in Atlanta, but the team is on a run of four straight losing seasons.
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