Reports: Colts release former NFL MVP Matt Ryan

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Field Level Media
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Jan. 8, 2023; Indianapolis, IN; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan (2) walks on the field Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, before a game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Jan. 8, 2023; Indianapolis, IN; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan (2) walks on the field Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, before a game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Image: IndyStar-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Indianapolis Colts ended the Matt Ryan experiment after one season, releasing the veteran quarterback on Tuesday, several reports said.

The Colts acquired the 2016 league MVP last spring in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons, but Ryan was unable to help the team's longstanding issue at the quarterback position.

The Colts' move to release Ryan frees up $17.2 million in cap space, while the team will maintain $18 million in dead salary for 2023.

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Ryan, who turns 38 in May, injured a shoulder in Week 7 and then-coach Frank Reich announced the Colts would bench Ryan in favor of backup Sam Ehlinger for the rest of the season. Ryan got another chance after Reich was later fired and replaced by interim coach Jeff Saturday, but Ryan lost the starting job to Nick Foles in December.

In 12 starts for Indianapolis, Ryan threw for 3,057 yards, 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His 9.9 yards per completion marked a career low.

The Colts finished with a 4-12-1 record and will pick fourth overall in next month's draft, making them a candidate to draft one of the top available quarterbacks.

If Ryan chooses to retire this offseason, he will conclude his NFL career having thrown for 62,792 yards and 381 touchdowns over 234 career games (all starts). He ranks seventh all-time in passing yardage, ninth in touchdowns and fifth in passing attempts (8,464).

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--Field Level Media