Falcons trade quarterback Matt Ryan to Colts, then sign Marcus Mariota


The Falcons wasted no time in finding Ryan’s replacement – announcing they had signed a free agent Marcus Mariota on a two-year contract.

Matt Ryan is traveling from Atlanta to Indianapolis.Doug Murray/Associated Press

For Indy, the deal completes a two-week search for a successor to Carson Wentz, who was traded to the Washington Commanders after just one season with the Colts. For the Colts general manager Chris Ballardit is also the last attempt to plug a hole created by Andrew Luck surprise retirement at 29 just before the start of the 2018 season.

Ryan will become the sixth quarterback to start Week 1 for the Colts in six years, adding his name to a list that already includes Scott TolzienLuck, Jacoby Brisset, Philip Rivers and Wentz. He joins a franchise whose vice-president bill polian once said he considered Ryan the most similar player in the league to Peyton Manning.

“You must be right [at quarterback] and even if you’re not right, you have to keep shooting until you get it,” Ballard said at the NFL’s annual scouting meeting. “We have to get it right.”

The deal also spells out something else: the Falcons are entering reconstruction mode.

Shortly after the Falcons made a high-profile but unsuccessful bid to acquire the quarterback from Houston Deshaun Watson last week, it became clear that Ryan did not want to return to a team where he had played his entire NFL career and then openly tried to replace him.

Watson reportedly narrowed his potential trade picks to New Orleans and Atlanta – with speculation the Falcons were the favorites since Watson is a native of Georgia. But he changed his mind and agreed to a fully guaranteed $230 million deal with the Cleveland Browns, who sent three first-round picks to the Texans as part of the deal.

Ryan is arguably the greatest quarterback in Falcons history, the No. 3 overall pick in 2008 from Boston College who stepped in to replace Michael Vic. He stabilized a franchise shaken by the coach At Bobby Petrino’s departure after 13 games and Vick’s imprisonment for running a dogfighting ring.

With Ryan leading the offense, the Falcons rebounded from a 4-12 record in 2007 to qualify for the playoffs in 2008 — the first of five straight winning seasons and three playoff trips. Until Ryan arrived, Atlanta hadn’t even managed to win back-to-back seasons since joining the NFL as an expansion team in 1966.

After several years of decline for the team, Ryan had his best season in 2016, throwing for a career-high 4,944 yards with 38 touchdowns. Atlanta appeared to be heading for its first Super Bowl crown when it took a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots late in the third quarter only to see Tom Brady engineered the biggest comeback in title game history for a 34-28 overtime win.

Ryan posted 10 consecutive seasons with over 4,000 passing yards until just missing the mark last year with 3,968. He threw for at least 20 touchdowns every year of his career, totaling 367 in his career with 170 interceptions. And he’s only missed three starts in his 14-year career.

His 59,735 career passing yards is the No. 8 in NFL history, and he’ll likely pass Dan Marin (61,361) for the No. 7 spot on the roster next season.

Even though the Falcons made another playoff appearance with Ryan in 2017, they never seemed to recover from the mind-boggling collapse on the NFL’s biggest stage. Atlanta has suffered four straight losing seasons, including a 7-10 mark last year, and is clearly in rebuilding mode.

Marcus Mariota seems to be the quarterback who will succeed Matt Ryan in Atlanta.Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Mariota joins the little used Felipe Franks as the only quarterbacks on Atlanta’s roster. Tennessee won Mariota with the second draft pick in 2015, but the 28-year-old has played sparingly over the past two seasons as a backup. Derek Carr with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Mariota lost his starting job with the Titans after going 29-32 in five seasons. He will apparently have the chance to resurrect his career with the Flacons, who are also likely to be looking for a long-term solution at quarterback in the draft, even if it is not considered a solid quarterback class. .

Bills bring back QB Matt Barkley

Strategist Matt Barley returns to the Buffalo Bills for a second stint after signing a one-year contract.

Barkley adds experienced depth behind the starter Josh Allenand after the acquisition of the Bills Keenum case in a trade with Cleveland this weekend. He knows Buffalo and grew closer to Allen after spending more than two seasons with the Bills before not being re-signed by the team after the 2020 season.

Barkley became expendable last year after the bills were signed Mitchell Trubisky to a one-year contract and assumes the role of primary backup. Trubisky signed with Pittsburgh in free agency last week.

Barkley saw no action last year as he split the season with Tennessee, Carolina and Atlanta.

The former Southern California starter broke into the NFL after being selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. He was 1-5 in the 2016 season with Chicago and went 1-0 with Buffalo in 2018.

Raiders add LB Micah Kiser

The Las Vegas Raiders have signed the free agent linebacker Micah Kiser to add depth to a thin group. Kiser’s agent, Michael Katz, confirmed that his client had agreed to a deal that was struck soon after Kiser’s visit to Las Vegas. NFL Network first reported the signing.

The Raiders needed help at linebacker after Nicholas Morrow signed with the Bears last week and released Las Vegas Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski as victims of the salary cap.

Micah Kiser was a Rams fifth-round pick in 2018.Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Kiser will be in the game with Pro Bowler Denzel Perryman and divine unlock for playing time at linebacker this season in the new coordinator by Patrick Graham defense.

Kiser was originally a fifth-round pick by the Los Angeles Rams in 2018. He played his first three seasons with the Rams before joining the Broncos at the start of last season after being eliminated from the roster. Los Angeles workout.

In 36 career games, Kiser has 100 tackles, three passes defended and one forced fumble. He also has extensive experience on special teams.

Kiser had 19 tackles in 10 games last season with Denver. He missed the entire 2019 season due to injury and also spent time on injured reserve for the past two seasons.

The Raiders also signed Garrett Gilbert be a backup quarterback Derek Carr. Gilbert spent time with the Raiders in 2015-16 and in New England in 2014-15 and 2021 under the current Raiders coach Josh McDaniels.

Chiefs re-sign DT Nnadi

The Kansas City Chiefs were okay with the 25-year-old defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi on a contract for next season, adding to the continuity on the defensive line that came with the restructuring of the pass rusher contract Frank Clark. Nnadi was selected by the Chiefs in the third round of the 2018 draft and has been a reliable member of three AFC title teams and one that was beaten in the conference championship game last season. He started 52 of the 64 games he appeared in during the regular season as well as eight starts in 11 career playoff games. . . The Philadelphia Eagles signed a wide receiver pascal pascal on a one-year contract. Pascal, 27, spent his first four NFL seasons with the Colts, compiling 150 catches for 1,888 yards and 15 touchdowns. He had 38 catches for 384 yards and three touchdowns last season. Pascal will reunite with the Eagles coach Nick Sirianni, who was the offensive coordinator at Indianapolis from 2018-20. . The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to a three-year contract with the guard Patrick Ricard, who spent his five seasons in the NFL with Baltimore. Ricard earned his third Pro Bowl selection last season. His blocking was crucial in Baltimore’s offense. He also had eight catches for a career-high 63 yards and a touchdown. Ricard had knee problems last year and ended up on the COVID-19 list at the end of the season. He played 13 games.

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