Report: Matt Ryan Signs Five-Year, $103 Million Contract Extension

Scott Cunningham

The Falcons lock up their franchise quarterback.

The seemingly endless negotiations on Matt Ryan's contract extension have ended, according to Chris Mortenson, and the result is a hefty new contract that will carry him through his age 33 season.

There are some who are going to question the length (only five years?) or the money ($59 million guaranteed? THAT'S PEYTON MONEY), but this is about what we should have expected. It provides more guaranteed money than Joe Flacco got, it's relatively frontloaded and it makes Ryan one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL. Given that he had roughly top five production in 2012, it's a hefty but quite sensible contract.

Here are the important takeaways here:

  • Ryan's locked up for five years. Quarterbacks can remain effective well into their late 30's, but this gives the Falcons a chance to re-visit and re-negotiate past Ryan's prime years while ensuring he'll be here from the crucial 28-34 stretch.
  • The Falcons were able to rig this in such a way that Ryan chews up a considerable amount of cap, but doesn't cripple the team's ability to bring in free agents and keep the engine humming. 2014 could be a little tight, but the Falcons should be able to lock up guys like Corey Peters without a problem.
  • We're not going to have to watch this drag out into 2014, when Ryan and Tom Condon could have used other teams as leverage to draw an even bigger deal out of the Falcons or left Atlanta entirely, leaving us all whimpering into buckets of Edy's ice cream.
  • Assuming everything goes well, Ryan-to-Julio Jones will be one of the best connections since fiber optic cable for the next five seasons.

The rest is gravy. We'll get a year-by-year breakdown before the season starts, I'm sure, but the Falcons aren't stupid enough to cripple their cap flexibility entirely with a move like this, and they have their franchise quarterback for a half-decade more, at least. Everything's great in Flowery Branch right now.

Your thoughts on the contract?

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