How much will Matt Ryan cost the Falcons?

Matt Ryan sits at a Hawks game pondering the millions he will make in the future - Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Ryan is going to cost "a bunch of money", according to sources.

Joe Flacco recently became the NFL's highest-paid player after signing a six-year, $120.6 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens. As we contemplate the future of the Atlanta Falcons star quarterback, we can presume Matt RYan will be receiving a hefty sum when his current contract expires a year from now.

Ryan signed a six-year, $72 million deal when he entered the league in 2008, with $34.75 million guaranteed. He is set to make a base salary of $10 million in 2013, a price that could easily double if/when the Falcons re-sign him.

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC recently reported on the outlook of Ryan's future contract, citing a forecast made by Joel Corry, a former sports agent. Corry believes Ryan will outdo Flacco in earnings. ""He should average at least $21 million, $22 million or $23 million," said Corry.

Thomas Dimitroff just sent an intern to the gulag out of sheer anger.

According to Corry's estimation, Ryan could pocket up to $138 million with $60 million or more guaranteed. A contract that lavish would make No. 2 the new highest-paid player in the league.

"I expect Matt Ryan to exceed $60 million in guarantees. He's probably going to be at $65 million-plus over the first three years. That wouldn't surprise me." -Joel Corry

Is Ryan worth $21 million or more a year? Yes, he's a franchise quarterback. Yes, he's led the Falcons to the most successful era in franchise history. But, does it feel a bit exorbitant to make a endowment of such an extent to the Matt Ryan fund at this juncture? Flacco received his contract in the wake of winning Super Bowl MVP. Drew Brees, the highest-paid player prior to Flacco, was coming off a record-setting campaign when he signed his deal last year.

Now, before you take out the torches and pitchforks, I am one of the biggest Ryan supporters you will find. I fully backed him during his adverse playoff span. He's clearly the future of Atlanta, and deserves to get paid. He's better than Flacco in my estimation as well. The Falcons have to be careful, though, about how they arrange his cap hit.

Flacco's deal will ultimately cost the Ravens $29 million in cap space in a few years. That contract will be restructured, as we can probably expect the later years of Ryan's to be as well. Regardless, $138 million is almost unfathomable.

The Falcons have an entire year ahead to negotiate. I don't personally know Matt Ryan, but he doesn't seem like a money-hungry guy. He cares about winning and what's best for the franchise. His agent, Tom Condon, might not be as concerned. We'll see how this plays out.

How are you feeling about Ryan's potential fortune?

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