I'm no cap expert, but if the analysis done by Joel Corry at National Football Post is accurate, the Falcons front office has done a nice job of providing some cap space for this year, while also not letting our franchise QB's cap hit to sky-rocket in future years (ala the Joe Flacco deal).
As it stands, the deal has been structured with 59 million in guarantees, with 42 of that fully guaranteed. Of those guarantees, 28 million is in the form of a signing bonus while an additional 12 million option bonus hits in the 2014 league year. His 2013 base salary of 2 million rounds out the initial guarantees.
As for future years, here's how Ryan's cap hit will look:
2013 - 9.6 million (down from 12 million)
2014 - 17.5 million
2015 - 17.5 million
2016 - 23.75 million
2017 - 23.75 million
2018 - 21.65 million
If you're interested in more of the gory contract details, take a look at the original article for even more detail.
In my non-expert analysis, the Falcons front office has put together a very smart deal here. They had some good cap space for the 2014 and 2015 seasons that Ryan's contract will fit comfortably in. Likewise, there's a strong possibility that the salary cap will increase in the 2015 season, which will lessen the burden of his cap hit even more.
While the 2016 and 2017 seasons peak just below 24 million, those numbers can be easily adjusted by converting portions of his salary into signing bonuses and given the growth of the NFL, a 24 million cap hit for a franchise QB may not seem excessive in a few years. The 2018 number drops somewhat, as his initial signing bonus comes off the books in 2017.
So, what does this mean for the future of the Falcons? Well, they will have space in the next year or two to resign key players like Julio Jones and Sean Weatherspoon. It also means that by deferring some of the larger cap hits until 2016, they will have more space to work with on the assumption of a bigger salary cap in those years. It also means we have a franchise QB locked up until 2018 while not having to give up the farm to do it.
What are your thoughts on the new contract?