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Details of Matt Ryan’s contract and how it impacts the Falcons cap

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Numbers. So many numbers.

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

As with many things in the NFL, the devil is in the details. While Matt Ryan’s new contract has set some new highs in the NFL, the impact to the team—and specifically the salary cap—is always the unknown when a new contract initially comes to light.

Thanks to Pro Football Talk, we finally have those numbers.

You can check the link for the full breakdown of Matt Ryan’s pay for each year, but here are some quick details:

2018

Base Salary: 6 million

Signing Bonus: 46.5 million

2019

Base Salary: 11.5 million

Option Bonus: 10 million

2020

Base Salary: 20.5 million

2021

Base Salary: 23.5 million

2022

Base Salary: 16.25 million

Roster Bonus: 7.5 million

2023

Base Salary: 20.5 million

Roster Bonus: 7.5 million

As for the cap hits, those numbers are a little different and offer some promise of flexibility in the Falcons future. Here are those numbers:

2018: 17.7M = (6M salary + 9.3M pro-rated bonus + 2.4M pro-rated bonus from prev contract)

2019: 22.8M = (11.5M salary + 9.3M pro-rated bonus + 2M pro-rated option bonus)

2020: 31.8M = (20.5M salary + 9.3M pro-rated bonus + 2M pro-rated option bonus)

2021: 34.3M = (23M salary + 9.3M pro-rated bonus + 2M pro-rated option bonus)

2022: 31.3M = (16.25M salary + 9.3M pro-rated bonus + 2M pro-rated option bonus + 3.75M pro-rated roster bonus)

2023: 33.75M = (20.5M salary + 2M pro-rated option bonus + 3.75M pro-rated roster bonus + 7.5M roster bonus)

The immediate news is that this frees up about 4M on this year’s cap hit (was originally 21.6M). It also lessens the cap hit for 2019, giving them some room to get guys like Jake Matthews and Grady Jarrett signed. As for 2020 and beyond, there’s a good chance the team may consider converting part of his salary into a bonus to push the cap hit down the road, but as it stands now, there’s not an immediate need to do so.

This is a well-structured deal without a massive cap hit in any particular year. It also provides the Falcons with flexibility in the next several years, which should make keeping some of their recently drafted players more feasible. Whether they’ll use any of the money they freed up this year on free agents is still an open question.

Your thoughts on the details of Matt Ryan’s new contract?