NFL Rumors: Matt Ryan, Falcons to discuss contract extension

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is looking to cash in with a big contract extension.

Despite being signed through the 2018 season, the Falcons may be interested in signing quarterback Matt Ryan to an extension this offseason, according to NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport. This potential new deal may surpass the one given to Andrew Luck this past offseason and could make him the highest-paid player in the game.

Extending Ryan tends to make sense for both sides. For the Falcons, they know they would like to have Ryan and his services beyond the 2018 season. With the salary cap increasing every season, making him the highest paid player in 2017 is going to be lighter on the wallet than making him the highest paid player in 2019. Especially considering Aaron Rodgers will be due to an extension around the same time.

They also have the chance to give Ryan a decent chunk of his new extension up front, in the form of a signing bonus which would give them more cap flexibility to make offseason signings this year, and build a stronger team around the one that is currently one game away from a Super Bowl.

For Ryan, when is there a better time to cash in than after an MVP type of season? Ryan is 31-years-old, and his offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan is likely to leave this offseason for a head coaching gig. Ryan had a major bounce back year, and a lot of the credit can be given to not just him, but the combination of he and his coordinator being a perfect fit.

At his age, he is closing in on his peak performances, and most likely only has one more chance to cash in on a major long-term deal. If he does regress back to his pre-2016 self without Shanahan, or if his arm does start to go with his age, he will most likely have left a lot of money on the table waiting for his contract to expire after the 2018 season.