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Colts, as expected, release Matt Ryan

Ahmed Fareed and Chris Simms offer their take on the Falcons' moves early in NFL free agency, as Arthur Smith looks to recreate the devastating run-first attack he had with the Titans.

For the first time in his career, quarterback Matt Ryan is a free agent.

As expected, the Colts have released the 2015 NFL MVP, one year after they acquired him in a trade with the Falcons.

It’s no surprise. With $12 million already guaranteed for 2023, the Colts would have owed Ryan another $17 million guaranteed if they hadn’t dumped him by tomorrow.

That’s why the Colts put him in bubble wrap at one point during the season. If Ryan weren’t able to pass a physical, the Colts would owe him the $17 million -- on top of the $12 million.

The question now becomes whether Ryan will keep playing. With $12 million fully guaranteed in hand, will Ryan essentially play for free in 2023?

Or, as the case may be, not play. No one will be offering him a starting job. At best, he’d be a backup. Is it worth it to go to another new city and wait for injury or ineffectiveness to open the door for one final act for Ryan?

Maybe he loves football enough to play (or not play) for free. Regardless, that’s what he’ll be doing, if he signs with another team in 2023.