There are many arrows pointing in the direction of a Matt Ryan extension being done soon, all of them a bit fuzzy. There was Jeff Schultz at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution saying to look out for a deal this week, and given that he’s a plugged-in local columnist, I think that’s worth paying attention to. Then there’s the fact that the Falcons, who were quiet as the grave for a few days after signing Brandon Fusco, have suddenly started visiting with free agents like Justin Bethel and Pernell McPhee. Smoke may or may not equal fire, here.
Thomas Dimitroff tried to throw a little cold water on both in remarks to the media while he was attending Georgia’s Pro Day, suggesting there is no timetable for the deal to be done, and perhaps channeling a little bit of polite pressure toward Ryan’s agent Tom Condon.
``There’s no time frame on it right now. I think the biggest thing for [Ryan’s representation], at one time, was probably waiting to see what was going on in the market. That’s kind of come and gone now, right? So we’ll continue to talk about how to get it finalized.’’
It’s impossible to know exactly how to parse this, but I think it’s worth trying. Dimitroff seems to be suggesting that the holdup is on Ryan’s end—you would expect the team to say this—and that the deal is close enough to being complete that a noted wordsmith feels comfortable using the word finalized. To me, that suggests the two sides are fairly close, and the Falcons feel that whatever remaining hurdle or hurdles exist are coming from Condon’s end. The market is known, as Dimitroff suggests, which means any holdups are more likely to be coming from the structure perspective than the raw dollar amount. But again, this is some real parsing on my part.
I’m still hopeful, then, that this will all be resolved and the deal will be complete sooner than later. Atlanta clearly has its eyes on making a handful of moves, and they’ll need a little more cap space to get it all done, in all likelihood.