Smedley: Ryan's addition does not make Colts Super Bowl contender

<p>Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan stands on the sideline before a home game in Mercedes Benz Stadium against the  Washington Football Team Oct. 3, 2021. Ryan was named the NFL&#x27;s Most Valuable Player in 2016. <strong>Photo Credit: Joe Glorioso, All-Pro Reels</strong></p>

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan stands on the sideline before a home game in Mercedes Benz Stadium against the Washington Football Team Oct. 3, 2021. Ryan was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 2016. Photo Credit: Joe Glorioso, All-Pro Reels

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.

The 2022 NFL offseason is a whirlwind. 

After several quarterback moves, including the Indianapolis Colts trading quarterback Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders March 9, the Colts decided on their next starting quarterback March 21 by trading for former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

In 14 seasons in Atlanta, Ryan won the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award in 2016 and led the Falcons to the 2017 Super Bowl, but lost to the New England Patriots 34-28.  

The Colts sent a 2022 third-round pick in exchange for Ryan, and while many are considering it a steal, I’m skeptical. 

Ryan will be 37 years old when the season begins and is under a two-year contract, solving the Colts quarterback issue for at least two years. 

This is the major problem with the Colts organization. 

Ryan will be the Colts' sixth different quarterback to start the regular season opener in six years. In three years, there will likely be another. 

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,

Instead of sticking with Wentz or trading for Cleveland Browns quarterback and former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield, the Colts played it safe and chose stability over potential. 

Ryan’s production will decline as he grows older and Indianapolis will have a small window to be competitive in the American Football Conference (AFC), which includes Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who are all 26 years old or younger.

Indianapolis knows what it has with Ryan. In his career, Ryan has averaged 4,267 passing yards and 26 touchdowns per season. Unlike Wentz, Ryan completes the easy throws and gets the ball to his playmakers swiftly. 

Behind a solid offensive line, Ryan can make smart decisions in the pocket and find wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr or rely on Pro Bowl running back Jonathan Taylor producing rushing yards. Ryan has a strong arm and if third-year wide receiver Parris Campbell remains healthy, the Colts should connect on multiple deep throws each game.

Although Ryan’s addition isn’t the end of the world for Indianapolis, it’s not a championship move. His talent ensures the Colts finish in between 7-10 and 11-6. 

Ryan is a solid quarterback for the Colts and provides an opportunity for Indianapolis to win the AFC South for the first time since 2014. However, it's not enough to contend in the AFC with quarterbacks Allen, Burrow and Mahomes.

Contact Kyle Smedley with comments at or on Twitter @smedley1932.


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