We don’t know when Matt Ryan is getting a new deal, but we know how expensive it is going to be sign him. We know this because Matthew Stafford is now, by some measures, the highest paid player in football. He’s also never been an NFL MVP.
Stafford’s deal is worth about $135 million over five years, which is an insane total for a quarterback who hasn’t been one of the five best at his position throughout his entire career. Stafford has a big arm and enough talent to live up to that deal, though, and he’s been dealing with an up-and-down supporting cast his entire career. You can see why the Lions gave him the money, even if I think it’ll ultimately prove to be more money than he’s worth from a production standpoint.
The implication that we care about here is what this means for Matt Ryan, and it’s nothing you’re going to love to hear. After Ryan nailed down an MVP award in 2016 it was obvious his next deal was going to be even more massive than his last one, especially with the salary cap increasing every year. Now that Stafford is pulling down an annual average that’s north of any other QB, guys like Ryan and Aaron Rodgers are about to get paid with cartoon dollar signs. They both deserve it, and it’s fair to argue that the Falcons should strive to get this thing done sooner rather than later, so no contracts trump Stafford before they get #2’s deal done.
We’ll see what kind of deal Ryan ultimately gets, but you can bet it’ll set some records. The Falcons will figure out a way to keep most of the band together—they always do—but it would probably be a smart move to win a Super Bowl in the next year or two, just in case.