The Atlanta Falcons have agreed a new five-year contract extension with quarterback Matt Ryan, that could see the 32-year-old earn up to $30m per year. Ryan first joined the Falcons in 2008, and has since emerged as one of the NFL’s top players.
Great quarterbacks do not come cheap, and with Matt Ryan just weeks away from entering the final year of his current contract, the Falcons have wasted no time in wrapping up a new five-year deal for their star player. The deal, which is rumoured to be worth around $150m with $100m guaranteed, will see Ryan break the record for highest average annual salary that was previously set by Kirk Cousins ($28m).
Earlier in the year, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff admitted that signing Matt Ryan to a new contract extension was the team’s highest priority, with owner Arthur Black previously suggesting that Ryan would be ‘compensated well’ for his heroics in the 2016 season, when he became the first ever Falcons player to claim the NFL’s MVP award.
Indeed, 2016 was a remarkable year for Ryan. The veteran QB threw a career-high 4,944 yards for 373 completions and 534 attempts, and picked up the NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award, NFL passer rating leader, and the Bert Bell Award. It has even been suggested that the new $150m deal is essentially payment for the job Ryan did two years ago.
Discussing the new contract deal, Black explained: “Matt is getting what he has earned and we all know the marketplace for a great quarterback,”
“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.”
Black will be hoping that Ryan can take the Falcons back to the Super Bowl this season, and judging by the franchise’s offseason activity, Ryan will have all of the resources that he requires. The Falcons have already drafted wide receiver Calvin Ridley and rookie Ito Smith, and with Julio Jones set to return to training in the near future, fans have plenty be to excited about.