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Possible trade destinations for Matt Ryan

The veteran quarterback could be playing elsewhere this upcoming season.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) and center Matt Hennessy (61) at the line of scrimmage in the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons could be on the verge of making a quarterback change this offseason as they are in running to potentially acquire Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. If the Falcons do acquire Watson, then that means it would be the end of the Matt Ryan era in Atlanta.

Ryan has spent the last 14 seasons with the Falcons after being drafted with the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Atlanta informed the 36-year-old quarterback last weekend that they were pursuing Watson. But the lines of communication between Ryan and the Falcons have been kept open, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen. Ryan does not have a no-trade clause in his contract, which a potential trade that much easier. Below we’ll look at a few teams who could acquire Ryan.

Indianapolis Colts

With Indianapolis moving on from Carson Wentz last week, they now have a gaping hole at quarterback that they need to fill either in the draft or through a trade. Many people point to Jimmy Garoppolo as the hypothetical frontrunner to go the Colts. However, the Colts have $44 million in cap space to take on Ryan, who has a $48 million cap hit this season and $43 million cap hit in 2023.

We saw how this Colts team performed with Philip Rivers under center in 2020; it ended with them getting into the playoffs. The same could not be said with Wentz this past season. If you are the Colts, a 36-year-old Ryan, who just threw for almost 4,000 yards and 20 TDs, could step in and keep you competitive in the AFC South.

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks traded Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos in a major deal last week that netted them Drew Lock. Lock will get a chance to compete for the starting quarterback, especially if the Seahawks draft a quarterback.

But if they want to compete right away, then they could trade for Ryan. He would step into an offense that has DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Chris Carson, and Noah Fant. Seattle only has $39 million in cap space, so it would take some maneuvering to get Ryan, but he would be a solid option for the next two seasons.

Cleveland Browns

With Baker Mayfield’s time in Cleveland most likely over, the Browns will need someone new under center. Cleveland is the discussion to get Watson, but if they can’t land him, then why not trade for Ryan? He would make them competitive in a tough AFC North division that has Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, and ........ Mitchell Trubisky. They have a new No. 1 wide receiver in Amari Cooper and just need to add a No. 2 receiver to go with a tough running game.