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Falcons plan to launch extension talks with Matt Ryan

Wild Card Playoffs - Atlanta Falcons v New York Giants Getty Images

The quarterback taken with the third pick in the 2008 draft has two years left on his rookie deal.  The team that drafted him nevertheless wants to get started on locking him up for the long haul.

Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reports that the Falcons plan to explore the possibility of extending Matt Ryan’s contract in the coming weeks.

It may not be easy to gauge Ryan’s value.  He received a six-year, $72 million deal in one of the final years without a true rookie wage scale, and Ryan’s camp surely will use that $12 million annual average as the starting point for talks.

Though Ryan has performed well in the regular season, he’s 0-3 in the postseason.  He quietly had the best season of his career statistically, a fact that was lost in the shuffle of Atlanta’s disappointing sequel to a 13-3 season, which was capped by a 24-2 loss to the Giants in the wild-card round.

Ryan’s case for a big contract would be considerably improved by a deep playoff run in 2012.  With so many other quarterbacks operating at a high level (and winning playoff games, or at least scoring points in them), Ryan doesn’t yet deserve a spot at the top of the quarterback pay grade.

Maybe that’s why the Falcons are interested in doing something sooner rather than later.  But that’s exactly why Ryan should wait.  With base salaries of $11.5 million and $10 million due in the next two seasons, along with whatever other back-end bells and whistles are in his top-five rookie deal, Ryan should only be willing to trade that in for a new contract if the Falcons are going to pay him based on potential in relation to other top-end quarterbacks, not results.

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41 Responses to “Falcons plan to launch extension talks with Matt Ryan”
  1. franktherat96 says: Feb 25, 2012 8:12 PM

    I hope they don’t decide to give him a signing bonus equal to the amount of points his offense scored againts the Giants in the playoffs this past year.

  2. gregeer says: Feb 25, 2012 8:16 PM

    They should wait until the end of this coming season before opening negotiations, at least.

    0-3 in the playoffs and a measly 2 points with all the talent he has surrounding him can’t just be brushed under the carpet.

  3. tommyf15 says: Feb 25, 2012 8:17 PM

    Ryan would be smart not to sign. When his deal expires it probably won’t be worth the money for the Falcons to franchise him, yet Ryan would get a better contract negotiating with all of the NFL teams instead of just one.

  4. painkiller20 says: Feb 25, 2012 8:26 PM

    Wow. 6 years and 72million?? I hope this extension includes a pay cut… Top 5 ESTABLISHED quarterbacks don’t make much more than that.

  5. caboose12 says: Feb 25, 2012 8:27 PM

    Why??? This guy has done what for this organization. Lose three straight playoff games. Yea I’d rather give tony romo an extension

  6. themonster49 says: Feb 25, 2012 8:41 PM

    Maybe the Falcons are betting on his gumby joints keeping him healthy for more years to come, some of those joints bent in ways things shouldnt bend. An above mediocre quarterback who cant be injured is worth something, right?

  7. duanethomas says: Feb 25, 2012 8:43 PM

    Only to ESPN who named him “Matty Ice” is he a great quarterback. Never seen someone do so little with so much…..

  8. profootballwalk says: Feb 25, 2012 8:44 PM

    His regular season was very similar to Eli Manning and Philip Rivers last season. You can’t pay him Eli money, but he should match Rivers.

  9. tommyf15 says: Feb 25, 2012 8:47 PM

    caboose12 says: Why??? This guy has done what for this organization. Lose three straight playoff games. Yea I’d rather give tony romo an extension

    LOL….the Falcons were 4 – 12 the year before adding Matt Ryan.

    Atlanta has averaged 11 wins per season in the 4 years they’ve had him.

  10. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Feb 25, 2012 8:47 PM

    That organization seemed to be in serious trouble before he got there. He has made them winners in the regular season since he got there.

    They are building a solid team around him that should be able to win some playoff games.

  11. larrydavidstern says: Feb 25, 2012 8:52 PM

    Most overrated QB in the league! He’s nothing more than a game manager with a noodle arm!

  12. ud1hens says: Feb 25, 2012 8:56 PM

    I’m sure Flacco’s camp will be monitoring this closely. Their stats are very similar in their first 4 years, even though Ryan plays in a dome and Flacco goes up against some of the league’s top defenses in his own division. Add in the fact that Ryan has weapons galore offensively, yet Flacco is up 5-0 in the playoff win category.

  13. wickerphil says: Feb 25, 2012 8:59 PM

    Matt Ryan is a second-tier QB. He makes all the plays that he is “supposed” to make, but if you ask him to consistently do something that elite QBs do – like throw lasers into coverage, make plays downfield, make plays out of the pocket or on the move, or be effective without protection/running game/good WRs – then you have the wrong guy.

    Nothing wrong with that. And I am actually sympathetic to the idea that he is worth slightly more than market value to the Falcons, as he has helped transform a franchise that had never even posted back-to-back winning seasons in its history to one that has gone to the playoffs 3 of the 4 years since he has joined it, with the year that they missed the playoffs they went 9-7. The Falcons EXPECT to contend, compete, play at a high level and win now on a regular basis instead of considering a playoff run to be a pleasant surprise, and Ryan has been a major part of that, and should be compensated for it.

    However, it DOES NOT make Ryan a franchise QB. The Falcons SHOULD NOT give into any demands to pay him like one. Joe Flacco has a better argument for franchise money than Ryan does. If Ryan wants a substantial increase over his $72 million, tell him to hit the road. The Falcons need an OL plus help all over that defense, also they will have to replace Tony Gonzalez and Michael Turner in the next 2-3 years (Gonzalez after this season as a matter of fact) and they won’t be able to do that with Ryan hogging cap space that he doesn’t deserve.

  14. pcoisma says: Feb 25, 2012 9:02 PM

    Not to mention the BEST TE in the league.Hall of Fame quality.

  15. gojags says: Feb 25, 2012 9:10 PM

    Ryan’s post season records are overblown. Atleast two of the three times he lost to the super bowl champion. And the other loss he was on his rookie year and he lost to the eventual NFC champion (and on the road). Falcons GM Dimitroff is wise to start the contract extension.

  16. wickerphil says: Feb 25, 2012 9:11 PM

    profootballwalk:

    Huh? Eli Manning had better numbers despite injuries and young players all over his offense, and playing against a tougher schedule. Give Eli Manning what Ryan had all season last year, and he probably gets 5000 passing yards.

    Philip Rivers had numbers similar to Matt Ryan IN WHAT WAS PROBABLY HIS WORST SEASON AS A PRO THAT WAS LARGELY DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND HIS CONTROL. plus, Rivers has won in the playoffs, several times. NO WAY does Ryan deserve Rivers money.

    ridingwithnohandlebars:

    Dude, Matt Ryan didn’t make them winners. He played a part in it, I agree. But Mike Smith (the head coach) and Michael Turner played a bigger role in making them winners than Ryan did, and I would argue that Roddy White becoming the best WR in Falcons’ history (granted, that’s not saying much, but in 3 years he should surpass 10,000 yards, 800 receptions and 60 TDs) was just as important.

    Granted, Ryan has only played 4 seasons, and hasn’t entered what should be the “peak years” for a QB yet, which is years 6-10. But Ryan is basically the same player that he was when he came out of Boston College. If he doesn’t show significant improvement soon, then the Falcons had better be realistic as far as what they have with the guy.

  17. tommyf15 says: Feb 25, 2012 9:12 PM

    wickerphil says: However, it DOES NOT make Ryan a franchise QB. The Falcons SHOULD NOT give into any demands to pay him like one.

    So what happens if the Falcons lose him to free agency?

    It’s early since he has two years left, but they can either franchise him, sign him to an attractive deal, or lose him.

    Ryan holds the cards here. I just hope he and his agent know it.

  18. fulanekiffin says: Feb 25, 2012 9:48 PM

    Wouldn’t mind if he stayed with the FAILcons (FalCLOWNs) so the Saints can continue to beat up on him twice a year.

  19. hus10188 says: Feb 25, 2012 10:21 PM

    He’s the classic ‘he is what he is’ QB. Its not even reallybecause of lack arm strength with him, Eli and Brees don’t have ‘killer’ arms but make every throw in the book. Matt Ryan has no real athletic ability to be multi-dimensional and lacks the real touch, velocity and zip to make elite throws.

    He needs a strong running game like he had in his early years to truly be effective on PA and keep defenses guessing. That’s when you truly find his worth as he’s then able to check in to certain successful pass plays when he sees defenses clamoring to stop big Turner in the backfield.

    With the plethora of weapons he had this year, most elite QBs would have had all time numbers.

    He is what he is a very capable QB but nothing more, nothing less.

  20. gmen1987 says: Feb 25, 2012 10:21 PM

    caboose12 says: Feb 25, 2012 8:27 PM

    Why??? This guy has done what for this organization. Lose three straight playoff games. Yea I’d rather give tony romo an extension

    =====================================
    Goobs,

    Name another Atlanta QB that has taken the Falcons to 3 straight playoff appearances. Ron Mexico certainly didn’t do that.

  21. daknight93 says: Feb 25, 2012 10:42 PM

    He has 2yrs left on his contract…they have 18 other free agents to think about…just senseless

  22. roadtrip3500 says: Feb 25, 2012 10:49 PM

    wickerphil says: Feb 25, 2012 9:11 PM

    profootballwalk:
    Huh? Eli Manning had better numbers despite injuries and young players all over his offense, and playing against a tougher schedule. Give Eli Manning what Ryan had all season last year, and he probably gets 5000 passing yards.
    ——————————-
    Eli had 4933 with those “injuries and young players all over his offense”. 5000 would only be about 3 or 4 more completions.

  23. visible4 says: Feb 25, 2012 10:53 PM

    Everyone talks about how Matt Ryan can’t win a playoff game. The fact is Matt Ryan can’t lead the team to any meaningful wins, period. He is 1-7 in his last 8 games against teams with winning records. His performance drops dramatically in those games as well. And now that Turner is slowing down, Ryan is being exposed as a game manager, and not a QB who can carry the team by himself.

  24. thatdudewiththemarauder says: Feb 25, 2012 11:16 PM

    Wow!! I cannot believe you Falcon fans. All the slick comments about Matty Ice. I’m a REDSKINS fan and I would take Ryan any day over any QB that has lined up for the Skins. Be thankful you have a YOUNG QB on your team. HTTR!

  25. cmack21 says: Feb 25, 2012 11:33 PM

    this guy is really average. i mean REALLY average.

  26. realityonetwo says: Feb 25, 2012 11:35 PM

    “Falcons plan to launch extension talks with Matt Ryan”…. Because slightly-better-than-mediocre QBs are hard to come by…

  27. hutch119 says: Feb 26, 2012 12:20 AM

    Why is everyone comparing him to Eli??? Eli has one good year and a couple above average years in what is this his 9th year?? As for the playoff wins between him and Flacco, it’s just stupid, Flacco has played well in ONE playoff win and that was against a pretty weak Chiefs team(in a game where Cassle had 3 picks and 70 yards). Plug nearly any other QB in the league in and the Ravens still win those 5 playoff games.

  28. bleed4philly says: Feb 26, 2012 12:27 AM

    Most overrated QB, Flacco is a close second. Without running games, they lose.

  29. pilot2011 says: Feb 26, 2012 12:35 AM

    I will not pull for him until he officially announces that “Matty Ice” is the worst nickname in all of sports… I get embarrassed for him every time I see or hear that.

  30. jh500 says: Feb 26, 2012 12:39 AM

    This team is loaded. No excuse for not winning ONE playoff game. Is it a coincidence that the Falcons haven’t won a playoff game since 04? An NFC championship game since 04? Maybe they were better off with a lazy, unmotivated Mike Vick (at least he has talent).

  31. naptownwarrior says: Feb 26, 2012 1:40 AM

    matt ryan aka furnace face is an epic loser

  32. crabboil says: Feb 26, 2012 1:48 AM

    Saints fans say, “Please lock little miss smurf arm up with a huge contract!”

    Matty Spice!! LOL!

  33. occamsrazor1 says: Feb 26, 2012 1:58 AM

    Matty Average!

  34. bigbran says: Feb 26, 2012 3:05 AM

    its amazing how this guy gets a pass.every other QB in the league is judged on post season success (or failure)yet all you hear is how he beats tampa,carolina,minnesota,wash,etc……..but he is 1-7 in his last 8 games against good teams

  35. mystereo says: Feb 26, 2012 5:32 AM

    The modern-day Elvis Grbac (that’s not a good thing).

  36. godzilla111111 says: Feb 26, 2012 6:11 AM

    Name another Atlanta QB that has taken the Falcons to 3 straight playoff appearances. Ron Mexico certainly didn’t do that.

    ——————————————————-

    Not 3 straight-3 out of 4.

    Were you thinking of Flacco? 4 out of 4.

  37. occamsrazor1 says: Feb 26, 2012 7:13 AM

    Matty Average.

  38. nygsbchamps4 says: Feb 26, 2012 9:00 AM

    He’s no Eli Manning but he deserves it, I guess. All these guys just make our road to the Superbowl that much easier. GIANTS, SB CHAMPS IN ’13!

  39. klstreet says: Feb 26, 2012 1:35 PM

    I guess you guys are right. Matt Ryan has only had more wins in his first 4 seasons than just about any QB to ever play. He took over a team that was in turmoil and made them a playoff team in his first season. He is tops in the league as far as 4th quarter comeback game winning drives. Plus, he has done all of that with defenses that have been in the bottom half of the league. If Ryan had Flacco’s defense then they would have been to a Superbowl already.

  40. yank3525 says: Feb 26, 2012 1:49 PM

    profootballwalk

    Your kidding right?

    Ryan isn’t even close to Rivers, who outside of 2011 has been a top 5 QB since 2008. He has no business getting a contract similar to Rivers.

  41. thinwhiteduke76 says: Feb 26, 2012 3:00 PM

    Why do this when he is 0-3 in the playoffs and was scoreless against the Giants, when it was the defense that forced those 2 points.

    Matt Ryan is one of the most overrated quarterbacks in the league. “Matty Ice” think again….Just watch his highlights in the playoffs the last 2 years. And does anyone pay attention to his deep ball accuracy? I don’t remember the last time he threw some deep passes and the receivers actually caught it.

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