Long-time sports figures in Atlanta should be looking over their shoulders right about now. Last week, Freddie Freeman moved from the Braves to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and this week we saw the Falcons ship quarterback Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2022 Draft. The deal comes off the back of news emerging that the Falcons had been looking into landing Deshaun Watson via trade, so perhaps that was part of Ryan’s motivation for wanting to leave town.
The Colts needed a QB to place under center having just traded Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders, so they will hope Ryan can bring them some consistency in a position in which they have not had much of in several years. Soon after the move, the Falcons moved to bring in Ryan’s likely successor in the form of Marcus Mariota. Mariota has signed a two-year deal worth just under $19 million, according to sources, and he will now have a great opportunity to be a starter in a wide-open Atlanta team. Mariota, formerly of the Tennessee Titans, played under Falcons head coach Arthur Smith when he was an Offensive Coordinator, so the familiarity is thought to have played a major role in the decision. We’ll see who gets the best of this deal, with both teams signing QBs that ask more questions than they answer.