SMEDLEY: Colts inactivity since trade for Matt Ryan makes the move meaningless

<p>Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan prepares at the line of scrimmage against the Baltimore Ravens Oct. 19, 2014. Ryan was selected to four Pro Bowls in his 14 seasons with the Falcons. <strong>Photo Credit: Keith Allison,</strong></p>

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan prepares at the line of scrimmage against the Baltimore Ravens Oct. 19, 2014. Ryan was selected to four Pro Bowls in his 14 seasons with the Falcons. Photo Credit: Keith Allison,

Kyle Smedley is a freshman journalism and telecommunications major and writes for The Daily News. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.

On March 21, 2022, the Indianapolis Colts made a trade with the Atlanta Falcons that would have 14-year veteran quarterback Matt Ryan change jerseys for the first time since he was drafted by the Falcons in 2008.

For the Colts, they solidified a sixth different person to start the season at QB in as many years. 

Yes, the man who sits at 8th in all-time passing yards and was the 2016 National Football League Most Valuable Player is now a Colt. 

Since trading for ‘Matty Ice’, Indianapolis has done precisely nothing. They’ve made no moves to surround their QB for the next two years. 

Not because the Colts have no other needs to fill, they have glaring holes at wide receiver, cornerback and offensive line, but for reasons unbeknown to anyone outside the organization. Indianapolis even restructured Ryan’s contract to free up extra cap space (around $22 million now). 

What are they doing? 

Trades aside, which Indianapolis did make a good one by swapping cornerback Rock Ya-Sin for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, the Colts haven’t done much on the free agent market since it opened up.  They re-signed a handful of role players and signed depth players to boost the secondary, but the Colts have sat back and watched as free agents that fit needs were signed by competitors. 

Clearly then, the Colts were largely inactive because they wanted to go get their quarterback and make sure they had the cap space to do so, but now what? Free agents like receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling and tackle Terron Armstead have left the market since trading for Ryan.

What’s worse, is these players have signed with conference rivals, making the road to the playoffs even harder for Indianapolis. The Colts got their QB, great, but now they need to surround him. 

The Colts have a solid young receiver in Michael Pittman Jr. and a phenomenal running back in Jonathan Taylor, but when your second best receiver on the roster is a Parris Campbell who can’t stay on the field and you don’t have a first round pick, free agency moves are a must. 

Colts' general manager Chris Ballard has a history of being stingy with cap space in free agency, as the only signings of note with him at the reins were in signing quarterback Phillip Rivers and defensive end Justin Houston. Those two played great for the time they were on the team, yet they were aging players. 

Chris Ballard makes phenomenal trades (DeForest Buckner for a first round pick that ended up being defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw) and is good at drafting (Quenton Nelson, Darius Leonard, etc.), but when it comes to free agency and making win now moves, he seldom pulls the trigger. Now more than ever, these moves are essential. 

The Colts traded for a quarterback with two years remaining on his contract and he is going into his age 37 season. That is the definition of a win now move, but if win now moves don’t follow, what’s the point? 

There are still great/solid players in free agency, but the market is growing thin. It’s now or never to make moves. 

Contact Kyle Smedley with comments via email at or on Twitter @smedley1932


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