INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts will release longtime NFL quarterback Matt Ryan in a cost-cutting move Wednesday, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.
By releasing the 37-year-old quarterback, it will save Indy about $17.2 million in salary cap charges next season and allowing it to open free agency with about $30 million of cap space.
It was no surprise.
Indy holds the No. 4 overall pick in next month’s NFL draft and most analysts expect it to select one of four quarterbacks — 2021 Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young, two-time Big Ten offensive player of the year C.J. Stroud, strong-armed Will Levis or Anthony Richardson.
Some even believe Indy may trade up for one of the top three though the reported deal between Chicago and quarterback-needy Carolina for the top overall pick could complicate Indy’s plans. Houston, also a quarterback-needy team, picks second while Arizona is at No. 3 but already has Kyler Murray signed to a long-term deal.
The likelihood of adding a young, franchise quarterback to provide stability for a team that has used a different opening day starter for six straight seasons made Ryan and his $35.2 cap hit expendable.
What’s next for the league’s 2016 MVP also remains unclear.
In January, Ryan said he didn’t believe he would retire and that he could still play at a high level.
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