Matt Ryan trade details: What Colts gave up to acquire long-time Falcons QB during 2022 NFL offseason

By | October 6, 2022

The Falcons found themselves at an organizational crossroads during the 2022 NFL offseason. The team was coming off four consecutive losing seasons and hadn’t made the playoffs since 2018.

So, Atlanta had to ask itself a tough question: Is it time to fully commit to a rebuild?

After some deliberation, coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot concluded that yes, it was time for the Falcons to retool. As such, they looked to capitalize on the NFL’s quarterback carousel, first by attempting to trade for the embattled Deshaun Watson.

The Falcons struck out in that pursuit, but they still decided to shake things up. That’s why they traded long-time franchise quarterback Matt Ryan to the Colts, completing what Atlanta’s brain trust called a “very amicable” split.

MORE: Did Falcons’ pursuit of Deshaun Watson cost them Matt Ryan?

Ryan had been the Falcons’ starter since the team made him the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He started all but three games for Atlanta during his time there and helped lead them to a Super Bowl appearance following his MVP 2016 campaign.

So far, things haven’t exactly gone smoothly with Ryan and the Colts. The 37-year-old has struggled immensely in the early stages of the season, so it looks like the Falcons are poised to win the Ryan trade.

But just what did the Colts give up to land Ryan? Below is a breakdown of the trade and what it has netted the Falcons.

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Matt Ryan trade details

  • Colts get: QB Matt Ryan
  • Falcons get: 2022 third-round pick (82nd overall)

The Colts were able to get Ryan for just the cost of a third-round pick. The deal was thought to be a bargain at the time, given that other quarterbacks on the market — including former Indianapolis passer Carson Wentz — had fetched far more in trades during the offseason.

However, in retrospect, the price was probably right for Ryan. After all, he is 37 and has two years remaining on his five-year, $150 million contract. While that’s relatively cheap by comparison to other top quarterbacks, Ryan hasn’t played at a high level in 2022; he has a passer rating of 85 and a QBR of 41.3.

So, if anything, giving up a third-round pick for Ryan could prove to be an overpay if he doesn’t turn things around in Frank Reich’s offense.

MORE: Falcons explain why they traded Matt Ryan during 2022 NFL offseason

Who did the Falcons draft with pick from Matt Ryan trade?

The Falcons used the third-round pick they acquired in the Ryan trade to select DeAngelo Malone, an edge rusher/outside linebacker from Western Kentucky.

Malone was a strong pass rusher during his time with the Hilltoppers, as he racked up 32.5 sacks in 61 career games. He won Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year twice in his five years with the team.

Malone has a 6-3, 243-pound frame, so most believed he would be a good fit as a 3-4 rush linebacker at the NFL level. That’s what he will play in Atlanta’s defense as he progresses.

Through four weeks, Malone has played 29 defensive snaps (10.9 percent) and 38 special teams snaps (35.9 percent) for Atlanta. He has logged three tackles and one TFL in that action.

Malone grew up in Ellenwood, Ga., so the Falcons are his hometown team. He is excited to get a chance to play with them and alongside his cousin and fellow Falcons draft pick, Justin Shaffer.

“I felt very blessed,” Malone told “My support system is very big, and I appreciate everybody that reached out to me. That right there motivates me to take my game to another level and become a better player.”

Malone was one of the Falcons’ two third-round selections. The other — No. 74 overall — was Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder, who they are hoping develops into a potential successor for Ryan.