Matt Ryan, Falcons Agree To Record-Setting New Contract

Posted May 04, 2018

The good news for Ryan is the Falcons added yet another weapon at wide receiver in former Alabama standout Calvin Ridley in an effort to help the offense return close to its 2016 form. Now he's going to get paid like it.

Now that Ryan has essentially become a Falcon For Life, it's time to address his overall legacy in the National Football League universe.

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 extension has been a major topic of discussion surrounding the Falcons this offseason, as well as the league at-large. A record-setting deal with over $100-million dollars in guarantees.

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Ryan will turn 33 on May 17.

"This extension was our primary focus this offseason", general manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement.

There was never a chance that Dimitroff and owner Arthur Blank would allow Ryan to reach the open market.

The 49ers on February 8 signed Garoppolo for five years and $137.5 million, a month before he could have hit the free agent market, indicating a strong relationship between himself and his team team.

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But that's likely a sports-radio debate for 2019, since the Falcons have already invested significant resources to the club's No. 1 tailback (Devonta Freeman-NFL's highest-paid running back, in terms of total payout) and potential No. 3 back on the roster (rookie Ito Smith, a fourth-round pick with insane stats from his time at Southern Miss).

Kirk Cousins' reign as the NFL's highest-paid player lasted less than two months. As a matter of fact, the Falcons franchise quarterback actually predicted in mid-April that something would get done in the coming weeks. In particular, it should make Julio Jones much happier with the team's direction.

The Cowboys are now in the middle of a prolonged contract negotiation with guard Zach Martin, who is looking to become the top-paid guard in the NFL.

In fact, striking the deal with Ryan now should allow Atlanta to shift their focus to Jones. That's a smart decision. After all, this is the next five years we're talking about.

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The same might also be said about five-time world champion Tom Brady, who has two years remaining on a front-loaded, team-friendly deal.