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Comparing Quarterback Contracts

How does Matt Ryan's new deal stack up against contracts signed by Joe Flacco, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Tony Romo?

Rob Carr

Matt Ryan was the last of a handful of quarterbacks to extend or renew contracts, and his deal--a five year extension worth $103.75 million--is one of the most lucrative in league history. The deal features $59 million in guaranteed money, which is second only to the $60 million the Saints guaranteed to Drew Brees prior to the 2012 season.

Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Tony Romo all signed big-money extensions this offseason, and the Ravens offered Joe Flacco a jaw-dropping contract after failing to extend his contract prior to the 2012 season. How do those contracts stack up against Matt Ryan's new deal?

Total Compensation:

Matt Ryan: $113,750,000 over 6 years (includes $10 million remaining on rookie contract)

Joe Flacco: $120,600,000 over 6 years

Aaron Rodgers: $130,750,000 over 7 years

Matthew Stafford: $76,500,000 over 5 years

Tony Romo: $119,500,000 over 7 years

Joe Flacco and Aaron Rodgers, Super Bowl MVPs in 2012 and 2010, respectively, both have larger overall contracts than Matt Ryan, and it's warranted by their postseason success. Tony Romo will also make more than Matt Ryan over the life of his contract, but that's primarily because Jerry Jones is a lunatic.

Signing Bonus:

Matt Ryan: details not yet available

Joe Flacco: $29,000,000

Aaron Rodgers: $35,000,000

Matthew Stafford: $27,500,000

Tony Romo: $25,000,000

Guaranteed Money:

Matt Ryan: $59,000,000

Joe Flacco: $52,000,000

Aaron Rodgers: $54,000,000

Matthew Stafford: $43,000,000

Tony Romo: $55,000,000

Guaranteed money is a good indicator of the level of confidence an organization has in their quarterback. Ryan is clearly valued highly by the Falcons, as his guaranteed money reflects.

Per-Year Average:

Matt Ryan: $20.75 million per year

Joe Flacco: $20.1 million per year

Aaron Rodgers: $22 million per year

Matthew Stafford: $17,667,000 per year

Tony Romo: $18 million per year

As you can see, Ryan's per-year average with this extension is the second-highest in the NFL, behind Aaron Rodgers. Joe Flacco is third, despite topping the league at the time his deal was finalized.

Let's consider some of the factors that helped establish these contract numbers.

Career Regular Season Win/Loss Record:

Matt Ryan: 56-22 (.718)

Joe Flacco: 54-26 (.675)

Aaron Rodgers: 52-26 (.667)

Matthew Stafford: 17-28 (.378)

Tony Romo: 55-38 (.591)

Matt Ryan's career regular win/loss percentage is the best in league history in an initial five year period. Only Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have win more games than Ryan over the last five seasons.

Career Postseason Record:

Matt Ryan: 1-4 (.200)

Joe Flacco: 9-4 (.692)

Aaron Rodgers: 5-3 (.625)

Matthew Stafford: 0-1 (.000)

Tony Romo: 1-3 (.250)

This statistic is the one that Ryan detractors shout from the rooftops, and it's not a secret that Rodgers and Flacco have had more postseason success than Ryan. However, you can't win in the playoffs if you can't get to the playoffs, and Ryan has a proven record there, with four playoff bids in five seasons. Ryan's work ethic is impeccable, and he's a leader in the locker room. He handles himself gracefully with the media. He has settled into his role as the face of this franchise.

But, above all, Ryan has the talent to win Super Bowls. Mike Greenberg on Mike and Mike in the Morning said on the show Friday that Ryan is a true franchise quarterback, and there are only a handful of players on the world who can effectively fill that role, so when a team is lucky enough to find that guy, they need to lock him up long-term. In doing so with Ryan, the Falcons will maintain the stability they have established over the last five seasons.