We knew the Atlanta Falcons were racing to get a contract extension done with quarterback Matt Ryan, and the deal has reportedly finally been struck. They were unable to get a deal in before the Kirk Cousins deal, but they luckily don’t have to outdo the upcoming Aaron Rodgers deal.
Matt Ryan has agreed to a 5 year extension with @AtlantaFalcons that makes him first $30 mill per year QB w $100 mill guaranteed, per league and team sources.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) May 3, 2018
These numbers were right in line with what we expected. The team likely did not have much choice after the Minnesota Vikings signed Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million deal. It was almost guaranteed that Ryan, and any other proven quarterback, would then cost $30 million or more.
Lets also be clear that Matt Ryan has absolutely earned this deal. He has easily outperformed every other quarterback in Falcons history, earned an MVP award, and continues to be one of the league’s best, and frequently underrated, quarterback. He’s near the top in most NFL rankings, and has completed 64.9% of his passes for 41,796 yards, and 260 touchdowns for a 93.4 career quarterback rating average.
His stats are simply nuts.
As expected, Atlanta’s cap situation will be tricky, with Grady Jarrett in line for a monster deal, and Ricardo Allen certainly about to be well paid. The Falcons will probably be letting a few popular players go in the next few years to fit everyone under the cap. Ryan should have a lower cap hit in year one, and potentially year two of the extension. That should help fit in a few deals, but there are only so many places to hide the $30 million average.
Update: we have some more numbers on Ryan’s deal.
Per NFL league source.. Falcons QB Matt Ryan will be paid $169.25 million over the next 6-years pic.twitter.com/fvrcH1a0EK— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) May 3, 2018
The extra $19.25 million was his base salary for 2018, so the extension keeps his 2018 salary in place and tacks on $150 million starting next season. That gives the Falcons a little wiggle room with how they structure the cap hits. It does bring his “average” down to about $28 million per year. Keep an eye out for larger cap hits later his deal that setup “planned” restructures.