Matt Ryan’s contract is the main reason he won’t play for the Colts again this year

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Sam Ehlinger officially becomes the Colts’ starting quarterback. If he fails or gets injured, Nick Foles will take over. And if Foles gets hurt, the quarterback will be anyone but Matt Ryan.

Ryan is done. He went out. He will no longer play, for reasons rooted in his contract. Simply put, once the team decided (and it was clear from coach Frank Reich’s comments that owner Jim Irsay made the decision) that Ryan wouldn’t be quarterbacking in 2023, it was time to unplug 2022.

Ryan’s contract already pays him $12 million in base salary next year, fully guaranteed. But millions more would become fully guaranteed if Ryan suffers an injury that prevents him from passing a medical by the third day of the 2023 league year in March, when the currently guaranteed injury payments become fully guaranteed. guaranteed.

Specifically, Ryan has $7.205 million in guaranteed extra pay in 2023 if injured and a bonus of $10 million in 2023 also guaranteed if injured. That’s $17.205 million the Colts potentially owe Ryan (on top of the $12 million) if he comes out of the 2022 season with an injury that prevents him from passing a physical by mid-March. .

That’s why Ryan won’t play for the Colts again in 2022. He could, in theory, be traded before next Tuesday. However, his performances over the seven weeks of the current season will surely make any team turn away from Ryan and his contract, whether or not a starter suffers a season-ending injury this weekend.

The question then becomes whether the Colts would eliminate Ryan after the trade deadline. He can ask to be released. The Colts may be biding their time to dump him, thinking a potential quarterback team in need might claim his contract on waiver.

Again, this is unlikely. It is, to all appearances, done. No, every quarterback will have their arm beyond their fortieth birthday. For Ryan, 37, too many of his throws now look like what John Madden called the last blow of a Roman candle.

Ryan had a great career. He was MVP. He did everything to win a Super Bowl. He recently passed Dan Marino to become No. 7 on the all-time passing distance list.

Matt Ryan has a solid record for Canton. At this point, however, continuing to play could possibly hurt his cause. And so, as was the case when the Vikings benched Donovan McNabb for Christian Ponder in 2011 and then released McNabb, it may just be over for Ryan.

Even if that’s the case, he’ll still earn $12 million next year for not playing professional football. The Colts, at this point, just hope to be sure he doesn’t get another $17.205 million.

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