The Atlanta Falcons and franchise quarterback Matt Ryan reportedly reached an agreement Thursday on a five-year contract extension that includes $100 million guaranteed.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN first reported the deal, which will make the Falcons star the first QB to earn $30 million per season.
Everything finally came together for Ryan during the 2016 season. The 32-year-old Boston College product completed 69.9 percent of his passes for 4,944 yards, 38 touchdowns and just seven interceptions en route to an NFL-best 117.1 passer rating.
Now, it’s paid off in a major way, both literally and figuratively, even though his 2017 campaign wasn’t quite as strong as the prior one, posting a 91.4 passer rating with 20 touchdowns.
Few positions in the NFL warrant lucrative extensions after age 30, but quarterback is one of them. The likes of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have shown it’s possible for a QB to have high-end success into their late 30s and beyond, especially for traditional pocket passers.
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Add in the fact Ryan is seemingly just hitting his peak, and the contract doesn’t come with a ton of risk despite the high dollar amount. It’s a safe investment for the Falcons as they look to remain among the league’s elite teams in the years ahead.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said signing Ryan to an extension was the team’s top offseason priority. Owner Arthur Blank told ESPN that Ryan would be “compensated well” after being named NFL MVP and helping the Falcons to the Super Bowl during the 2016 season.
“Matt is getting what he has earned, and we all know the marketplace for a great quarterback,” Blank said Thursday. “League revenues are up, club revenues, new stadiums and the players are the heart of the game. They’re the ones on the field, and they certainly deserve their fair share.”