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Quarterback slumlord Jimmy Garoppolo: No hometown discount for Matt Ryan

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The market has been set, and Atlanta should prepare to pony up.

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Most people are familiar with the situation where they walk up to their front door to the inevitable, ominous notice informing them that their rent will be going up. Well, the Falcons just experienced something similar regarding Matt Ryan.

Unless you were living under the Brinks truck, you’re well aware that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo just received a five-year, $137.5 million contract. A New England second-round draftee from Eastern Illinois with seven career starts is now the richest man in NFL history with an annual salary of $27.5 million.

Holy moly.

I’m not sure if Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan are in some kind of exclusive, quarterbacks-only group chat; but if they are, there may have been a bit of a game of text-chicken as to who reacted first. But they both most likely reached out to their agents immediately.

It was never a question that both of these men were going to receive massive contracts in short order, but the expected number just established an unexpected new floor. Now it’s just who first, and when.

$137.5 million.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank created some waves last week when he publicly expressed his desire for Matt Ryan to accept a “team-friendly” deal. It was a bit of foolhardy wishful thinking at the time, and now in the wake of the Jimmy Garoppolo deal, is an absolute pipe dream.

Matt Ryan will not—and should not—be expected to take any kind of hometown discount. He has more than earned a new, lucrative deal from the Atlanta Falcons, and unless Mister Blank is content letting his franchise quarterback walk after next season, he should be prepared to pay him at least $30 million per year.

Matt Ryan has accumulated over 40,000 passing yards in his 10 years in the NFL—the fastest quarterback to reach that measure in NFL history. He set the entire league on fire in 2016 with 4,944 yards passing and 38 touchdowns en route to his first MVP award. A four-time Pro-Bowler, he’s led the Falcons to two NFC Championship game appearances and a Super Bowl berth. Hell, even in a season under a new offensive coordinator and full of fluky play from receivers he still took the team to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.

$30 million.

That’s what it’s going to take, and despite any anticipated posturing or equivocating from the front office, he will get it. A steep price to be certain, but in the neighborhood of contracts for starting quarterbacks, Jimmy Garoppolo now holds the keys to the market.