ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News has learned that Matt Ryan is being traded to the Indianapolis Colts.
NFL sources confirmed to Channel 2 sports director Zach Klein that Matt Ryan has played his final game for the Falcons.
ESPN says several sources have confirmed the trade as well.
Ryan was drafted third overall in 2008 — and immediately started for the Falcons.
In his 14 years here in Atlanta, he was a four-time pro bowler, a league MVP and holds multiple franchise records — including the most passing yards and career touchdowns.
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Ryan also threw for more than 4,000 passing yards for 10 straight seasons.
He made six playoff runs, including Super Bowl LI.
The move appeared more likely to happen after the Falcons were reportedly all-in on the trade with Deshaun Watson, and then Watson ended up going to the Browns.
ESPN is reporting that Ryan signed off on the trade because he felt like the Colts have a roster to build to win now.
“As we’ve said since we’ve started, we’re always evaluating and looking for opportunities to improve our team for the long term,” said Arthur Smith, who is heading into his second season as the Falcons coach. “This move is another step in that and we’re looking forward to the future.”
“Matt Ryan has been the epitome of a franchise quarterback,” team owner Arthur Blank said. “It is difficult to overstate what he has meant to me personally, our organization, his teammates and our fans. This business is not without its difficult decisions. While this is one of the most difficult decisions we have faced as a club, we feel it is in the best long-term interests of both the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan.”
Ryan will become the sixth quarterback to start in Week 1 for the Colts in six years, adding his name to a list that already is composed of Scott Tolzien, Luck, Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers and Wentz.
He joins a franchise in which vice chairman Bill Polian once said he considered Ryan the most similar player in the league to Peyton Manning.
Shortly before 4 p.m. Monday, the Atlanta Falcons announced they signed Marcus Mariota from the Las Vegas Raiders as their new quarterback.
Ryan finishes his time in Atlanta with an NFC Championship, four Pro Bowl selections and several NFL records.
Fans say they always felt hopeful at the start of the season because they had “Matty Ice.”
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Now, they hate to see him go.
At the Eclectic Barbershop along Peachtree Street in midtown Atlanta, it was like a punch to the gut.
“I’m flabbergasted! I’m at a loss for words. Matty Ice for a third rounder? Come on Falcons,” was Todd Hill’s reaction to the news.
Hill told Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen that he has been a fan of Ryan’s from Day 1.
He can’t believe the team would let their star quarterback go to the Colts for a draft pick.
But Hill’s barber, Jason Tuckett, he said it’s a great deal considering the team he pulls for.
“It’s a tragedy that they traded Matt Ryan like that. But to the Colts?” Petersen asked Tuckett.
“I’m a Colts fan,” Tuckett said.
“Good for you?” Petersen asked Tuckett.
“A good look for us,” Tuckett said.
Falcons fans said they’ll never forget that run to the Super Bowl.
It should have happened, and they thought it still could have happened had Ryan stayed with the team.
It leaves them thinking, what now?’
“It is crazy. Third rounder for Matty Ice? I’m done. Loss for words. No words,” Hill said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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