As part of that pursuit, the Falcons and Ryan pushed back a $7.5 million roster bonus originally due March 18 back five days to Monday to both let the Watson courtship play out and allow Ryan to seek out trade partners. Watson ended up waiving his no-trade clause to go to Cleveland, but it also put the Falcons in a position where it had very publicly sought out a succession plan for Ryan.
The trade will leave a dead-money chart of $40.525 million on the Falcons' salary cap this season.
Weeks earlier, during Super Bowl week, Falcons owner Arthur Blank said the team had contemplated a succession plan for Ryan the past couple of seasons, but had yet to have one. Pursuing Watson clearly became one succession option. Now the Falcons will have to push that plan further.
Ladies and gentlemen, after spending 14 seasons in Atlanta, Matt Ryan is moving on.
Nation, do you think adding Ryan makes the Colts a true Super Bowl contender?
Compensation: a 2022 third-round pick, per sources. Deal officially agreed to. https://t.co/8B2PxPHAmu
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 21, 2022