Matt Ryan signs $104 million extension with the Falcons
Ryan - who was entering the final year of his contract - agreed to a five-year extension with the Falcons on Thursday that will pay him $104 million. Combined with his $10 million salary for 2013, Ryan is essentially playing under a six-year, $114 million deal.
The contract includes $59 million guaranteed. The $63 million that Ryan will make in the first three years of the deal is $1 million more than Flacco's new contract.
The Falcons, who spent Ryan's first few years in the league as a run-first team, decided to hand the reins over to their franchise quarterback in 2012. Ryan responded just as they had hoped, putting together by far the best season of his career. He finished with career-highs in passing yards, completion percentage (which was also a league-high), quarterback rating, QBR, fourth quarter comebacks, and game-winning drives. He also was named to his second Pro Bowl in the past three years.
Another major part of what earned Ryan his colossal extension is that he brought the team to the conference championship in the playoffs, falling to the eventual Super Bowl runner-up San Francisco 49ers by a score of 28-24.
Ryan's new contract will keep him in Atlanta through the 2018 season when he'll be 33 years old.
The Falcons obviously needed to lock Ryan up rather than go into a bidding war with other teams on the open market next offseason, so they certainly did well in retaining the centerpiece of their offense for the foreseeable future.