Just days after the Freddie Freeman era finished in Atlanta, the Matt Ryan epoch has come to a close as perfectly … and for Falcons, the time of Marcus Mariota begins.
The Falcons have traded their longtime franchise cornerstone to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2022 third-round draft choose. The trade frees up some wage cap room in 2022 and substantially far more in 2023, although Ryan will stay a considerable dead-cap hit on Atlanta this season.
Atlanta chosen Ryan with the 3rd choose of the 2008 draft, with the intent of rehabilitating the franchise’s impression in the wake of the Michael Vick dogfighting scandal. Ryan began for the Falcons from the 1st day of his rookie period in 2008, and would pass up only a few video games about 14 seasons.
He gained NFL offensive Rookie of the Year in 2008, then adopted that up by winning the NFL MVP in 2016. That period, Ryan led the Falcons to the Super Bowl, and led the Patriots 28-3 in the 3rd quarter in what was arguably the franchise’s last wonderful minute. With Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White and Julio Jones as targets, Ryan was a single of the league’s perpetually reputable passers, even if the Falcons as a complete rarely matched his expertise.
Atlanta is on a operate of 4 straight losing seasons, but Ryan has held up his stop of the discount, throwing a league-foremost variety of completions in 2019 and 2020 even though becoming sacked over 40 times every calendar year. The Falcons reached the playoffs in six of Ryan’s 14 seasons in Atlanta.
Ryan joins a Colts group that arrived in just one particular earn of generating the playoffs final period, and quite a few observers blamed the general performance of now-departed quarterback Carson Wentz for the team’s failure. The Colts’ odds to gain the Tremendous Bowl jumped from +3000 to +2500, for every BetMGM.
Falcons indication Marcus Mariota just after investing Matt Ryan
Shortly after the news of the Ryan offer broke, the Falcons introduced that they had signed his alternative: previous No. 2 general draft decide Marcus Mariota.
Atlanta signed Mariota to a two-calendar year deal, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted it really is for $18.75 million. Mariota is extensively common with Falcons head mentor Arthur Smith from when the two labored alongside one another in Tennessee. Mariota played for the Titans from 2015 by way of 2019. The Titans then pivoted to Ryan Tannehill, and Mariota signed with the Raiders. He expended the previous two yrs with Las Vegas serving as Derek Carr’s backup.
Regardless of whether Mariota ends up as Atlanta’s lengthy-time period quarterback stays to be viewed. The Falcons have the No. 8 choose in a draft not especially top-heavy in quarterbacks, and the group has demands all over the field. At the instant, Feleipe Franks is the only other quarterback beneath deal in Atlanta.
Jay Busbee is a author for Yahoo Sporting activities. Abide by him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or get hold of him at [email protected].