Jim Irsay suggests Matt Ryan could play again this year

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Colts owner Jim Irsay has said many things this week. In addition to Monday night’s rollicking press conference introducing an objectively unqualified and inexperienced interim head coach, Irsay spoke on Tuesday to Bob Kravitz of TheAthletic.com.

Among other things, Irsay re-opened the door to the possibility of quarterback Matt Ryan playing again this season.

“When [G.M.] Chris [Ballard], Frank and I decided to go with Sam [Ehlinger], Frank [Reich] wanted to name him quarterback for the year, but I told them, ‘Look, we have three quarterbacks; we need to use them all to win this year,” Irsay told Kravitz. “If we decide to make a change, we’ll make a change. It’s not something we’re locked into. We’re going with Sam with his mobility and his playmaking ability since we’re struggling in [pass] protection and moving the ball, that’s what we all decided to do.”

Irsay pushed back against the idea that Ryan was benched for the rest of the season, even though now-former head coach Frank Reich said on October 24 that Ehlinger would be the starter for the rest of the season. In other words, and contrary to Irsay’s latest words, Reich did indeed name Ehlinger the quarterback for the rest of the year.

“There was never a notion that you wouldn’t go to Nick [Foles] or Matt later in the season when [Ryan’s] shoulder is healthy,” Irsay now says. “They’re all available to help us win, bottom line. . . . It’s always been about whoever can help us win going forward. We’re going with Sam, and if there’s a notion for Jeff [Saturday] to make a change . . . that’s Jeff’s prerogative, and it was always Frank’s prerogative. It’s wrong to say I mandated it [the move to Ehlinger] and it’s wrong to say they can’t go to the other guy.”

But it’s right to say that there’s a clear financial reason to keep Ryan off the field, even if Irsay tried to insist that there isn’t.

“I don’t know how people report these things falsely,” Irsay told Kravitz, regarding Ryan’s contract. “There’s no playing-time thing for Matt Ryan to get his $17 million bonus in the offseason. There’s no such thing. They’re all available to help us win, bottom line. There’s no bonus if Matt plays a certain amount of time, it’s ridiculous. . . . It’s ridiculous and completely false. It’s always been about whoever can help us win going forward.”

But it’s not about playing time. It’s about $17 million in injury guarantees that become fully guaranteed in the middle of March, if Ryan is still on the roster at that time. He can only be removed from the roster if he’s cut. If he’s cut without being able to pass a physical, he gets the money that’s guaranteed for injury.

The fact that Irsay got the number right — $17 million — shows that he’s aware of $17 million being an issue. Either he’s not telling the truth about the situation, or he doesn’t understand basic notions of the manner in which contracts work. If it’s the former, what else hasn’t he told the truth about this week? If it’s the latter, well, he’s frankly unfit to own and operate an NFL team.

22 responses to “Jim Irsay suggests Matt Ryan could play again this year

  1. I still at dumbfounded what happened to the highest paid offensive line in the NFL. Ridiculously bad play from that O-Line will be pointless who is standing behind it.

  2. I vote for Irsay being unfit. And if the Costanzesque concept of the Opposite is true, perhaps Daniel Snyder is indeed on much firmer footing than Irsay’s rant from a couple of weeks ago suggested.

  3. “Either he’s not telling the truth about the situation, or he doesn’t understand basic notions of the manner in which contracts work.”
    ———————-
    Hey Mike, ever consider the possibility it might be both? All signs this week point to Irsay being a lying idiot!

  4. “but I told them, ‘Look, we have three quarterbacks; we need to use them all”
    —-

    Why aren’t owners drug tested like players?

  5. Or, he doesn’t feel the need to address reporters in the manner that they desire. It would be shocking for a multimillionaire to lie and not feel any accountability to people that have no ability to substantially hold him accountable to any degree.

  6. My God in Heaven, the Colts play on Monday Night 11/28. I have NEVER been more committed to a full Manningcast – ever. Will Payton rip all this or play along?

    Irsay might be a mad man, but this is just riveting.

  7. Props to Isray for calling out Snyder but this is getting ridiculous. I believe we had a Manning-Ryan comparison a few weeks back, coaching change & now contracts QB changes. Go collect another guitar or better yet give some to charities, replace the turf – something other than this whiplash.

  8. So he’s a liar or a fool?

    Please child. Irsay is not the first owner to blow a little smoke, and he will not be the last.

  9. The McCaskey’s may not be the most successful owners but one thing I do appreciate about them. You don’t hear them constantly quoted blabbing garbage like Jones and now, seemingly, Irsay.

    Jones is probably getting salty that Irsay is starting to take up all his screen space.

  10. “he’s frankly unfit to own and operate an NFL team.” This was all that needed to be said.

  11. To my knowledge, Matt Ryan has never missed a game. So the theory that Irsay isn’t playing Ryan because he fears an injury will guarantee Matt’s contract next year is… flimsy. It could just be they want to see Ehlinger and get him experience.

  12. Irsay should have to sell because this is obviously the 2nd time he is purposely tanking to get the number one pick for a qb. Who hires some guy off the street in mid season to replace their head coach? Then goes back in what he said in that erlingher is the guy the rest of season. Guy has obvious substance issues still and he has no room to say anything about Snyder being the embarrassment he’s been.

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