It appears the Atlanta Falcons and quarterback Matt Ryan are near a contract extension to keep the 2016 MVP in Georgia for the foreseeable future.
Kevin Patra of NFL.com and other news outlets broke the story.
In a Tuesday email to Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, owner Arthur Blank dismissed any concerns but continued to insist there was no timeline for getting a deal done.
“The most direct and honest answer is: no need to worry, good conversations are happening, they are positive and there’s no timetable for this,” the Falcons’ owner wrote.
Ryan and the Falcons offense took a bit of a nose dive in 2017, but the team still managed to make the playoffs. Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones are one of the best pass-catch duos in the NFL. If fans weren’t convinced the Atlanta Falcons would do their best to keep Ryan on board, general manager Thomas Dimitroff tried to put everyone at ease.
Dimitroff told 680 The Fan on Tuesday he believes the Falcons are “close” to a deal with the starting quarterback, noting “it’s not a complicated process,” via Matt Tabeek of the team’s official website. Given the movement of signal callers this offseason, and the money being throw around to sign free agents, it may be best for the Atlanta Falcons and Ryan’s team to sit back a bit and let the dust settle.
“Kirk Cousins reset the quarterback contract bar with his $84 million guaranteed pact in free agency, giving Ryan and his agent a template to work from in negotiations,” Patra explained.
Ryan is set to make $19.25 million in 2018 and count $21.65 million against the salary cap, per Over The Cap. If sides can’t come to an agreement on a long-term deal, his franchise tender in 2019 would be about $26 million, with another $31.2 million in 2020.
The Atlanta Falcons made Ryan the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. During his rookie year, Ryan started all 16 games for the Falcons and led them to the playoffs with an 11–5 season record. He earned honors as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. In 2016, Ryan was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player and led the Falcons to Super Bowl LI, where they were defeated by the New England Patriots.