Falcons give Matt Ryan the new contract he deserves

Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan is clearly one of the best quarterbacks in football. Now the Falcons are going to pay him a salary commensurate with his performance.

There’s no question that Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is one of the best players in the NFL at his position. Now he’s going to get paid like it. The Falcons have locked up the former Boston College signal caller with a massive new deal that will make him the highest-paid quarterback in the league.

Ryan’s previous contract was due to expire at the end of the 2018 season which made this summer the right time for Atlanta to lock him down for the long haul. Ryan’s new deal will keep him with the Falcons through 2023. The deal will also make Ryan the first player in NFL history to average at least $30 million per year. The total value of his new deal will cost the Falcons a total of $150 million.

Even if you don’t believe Ryan is the best quarterback in football this is still a great deal for the Falcons. General manager Thomas Dimitroff explained the team’s position regarding Ryan perfectly when he said “until you find your quarterback, the search for him consumes you.”

There was never any real chance the Falcons were going to let Ryan test free agency. He’s been a fixture for their offense ever since he took over as their starter in 2008. Ryan isn’t the most dynamic athlete to line up under center, but his throwing ability more than makes up for his lack of foot speed.

The length of Ryan’s contract extension is perfect for the Falcons. Five more years will carry Ryan to the age of 38. It’s possible he’ll still be playing at a high level then, but that’s not a bet the Falcons should be making at this point. Instead, they’ve smartly chosen to lock him down for a period of time where they can reasonably expect his performance to continue at or near its current level.

Even if he starts to dip a little at the end of the deal, the inflation of the quarterback market should help keep this contract in check. Ryan’s the highest paid quarterback in the game right now, but that could change any day. As soon as Aaron Rodgers inks a new deal with the Packers, Ryan will probably lose that title.

Keeping Ryan happy should also help Dimitroff and company keep the rest of the offense together. In particular, it should make Julio Jones much happier with the team’s direction. If the Falcons had chosen to play games with Ryan’s deal it could have caused Jones to become happy with his current contract.

In fact, striking the deal with Ryan now should allow Atlanta to shift their focus to Jones. He’s vastly underpaid with his current contract. Fixing the cost of Ryan for the future should allow the team to enter into serious negotiations with Jones.

The bottom line here is that the Falcons have a Pro Bowl quarterback and they don’t want to take any risks with him. That’s a smart decision. Ryan will be worth every penny the Falcons are going to pay him over the next five years. It’s a great deal for the team and their franchise quarterback.

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