The Atlanta Falcons are going to give quarterback Matt Ryan a large extension in the coming months. Look for it to break the proverbial bank.
Matt Ryan has a real chance of becoming the first NFL player to receive to $100 million contracts. After beginning a five-year deal worth $103 million ($47.5M guaranteed) in 2014, Ryan is up for another extension, and everything points to a pact coming together soon.
Really, the question isn’t whether Ryan will get his money from the Falcons, but when will it become official, and how much will he sign for?
In recent years, we’ve seen may large extension get rapped up in the early summer, with league executives finally able to focus on their own after free agency and the draft have quieted down. Last year, the Oakland Raiders signed Derek Carr to a five-year, $125 million contract on June 22. In 2016, Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts agreed on a five-year, $140 million deal on June 29, with $87 million guaranteed.
Look for Ryan and the Falcons to find agreeable language right around or slightly before July 4. Ryan is 32 years old, considerably further into his career than Luck and Carr, but he’s also more accomplished. The former Boston College star has an MVP to his name and a Super Bowl appearance, along with 41,796 passing yards and 260 touchdowns.
If you take the league’s temperature, quarterbacks are playing well deep into their 30s. Drew Brees is chugging along at 39 years old, while Tom Brady authored another MVP season last year and is turning 41 in August.
Ryan is playing his best football, and so expect him to land a contract in the neighborhood of five years and $140 million with $80 million guaranteed. The total value would tie him with Luck as the largest ever, barely eclipsing the $137.5 million given to Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason. The $80 million guaranteed slots him in behind Kirk Cousins and Luck, but puts him in a competitive spot. That amount of guaranteed cash will also ensure his contract at least keeps him in Atlanta for four more campaigns.
With the Falcons vying for their first Super Bowl title in franchise history, Ryan is an integral part of the process, and he’ll be paid like it soon enough.