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Absent new deal with Ryan, Falcons will face franchise-tag dilemma in 2014

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons Getty Images

So why did March 4 become the real deadline for the Ravens to get a deal done with quarterback Joe Flacco?

Because the Ravens didn’t want to have to choose between the non-exclusive and exclusive level of the franchise tag.

The latter, in light of the recent restructurings by Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, would have put Flacco on track to make more than $74 million over three years, if Flacco opted to take it year to year under the franchise tag.  (That’s more than $24 million per year.)  The former would have opened the door for a front-loaded monster offer from another team that the Ravens couldn’t have matched without dumping plenty of players.

That was enough to persuade the Ravens to get it done before encountering a fork in the road with a pair of paths that led nowhere good.

Unless the Falcons and quarterback Matt Ryan work out a new deal within the next 12 months, Atlanta G.M. Thomas Dimitroff will face a similar dilemma.

Per a source with knowledge of Ryan’s contract, his cap number in 2013, the final year of his rookie contract, will be $12 million.  Which means that his non-exclusive tender would be no higher than the base quarterback amount for 2014, since a 20-percent raise over $12 million will be only $14.4 million.

The exclusive number will be several million higher, setting the stage for a much higher three-year haul under a formula that would give Ryan a 20-percent raise for the second year of the tag and a 44-percent raise in the third.

The difference in this case is that Ryan is represented by CAA, which handles an ever-growing stream of franchise and highly-paid quarterbacks (Eli and Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, Tony Romo, Sam Bradford, Philip Rivers, Robert Griffin III) and which consistently emerges from these talks with top-of-market deals, team cap situation be damned.  Now that the contract CAA negotiated in 2012 for Drew Brees has been eclipsed by the non-CAA Flacco deal, the goal will be to get back on top.

It’ll likely happen with Ryan, whether now or later or on the brink of the franchise-tag dilemma.  Or at some point after that.

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24 Responses to “Absent new deal with Ryan, Falcons will face franchise-tag dilemma in 2014”
  1. noring4youstill says: Mar 3, 2013 11:40 AM

    FalCants and Melted Ice Ryan are perfect for each other.

  2. strangelove74 says: Mar 3, 2013 11:47 AM

    If his negotiating skills match his football prowess, just wait until the pressure is really on and he’ll crack.

  3. 6thsense79 says: Mar 3, 2013 11:49 AM

    Matt Ryan signed one of the last big money first round contracts at $72 million. The Falcons didn’t blink then and they won’t flinch next year. They’ve anchored their future to him.

  4. irishgary says: Mar 3, 2013 11:50 AM

    Stafford, Romo, Bradfrod, Rivers, Franchise Quarterbacks LMAO.

    Over paid clowns would be a better description

  5. SeenThisB4 says: Mar 3, 2013 11:55 AM

    Paying $20.25 million per year for a QB who has never proven that he can’t get it done. LOL! At least Flacco got it done, but Ryan? He’s can’t get a conference trophy, even with home field advantage.

  6. ravenator says: Mar 3, 2013 11:57 AM

    Flacco > Ryan and it’s not even close.

    One wins superbowl MVPs while the other wins fantasy league championships.

  7. whoisadamjones says: Mar 3, 2013 12:05 PM

    Not a Falcons fan by any means, but Atlanta needs to lock this guy up forever right now. Ryan deserves to be paid like the best in the league. Say what you want about the playoffs, but the guy can ball.

    An exclusive franchise tag might be too expensive, and if they tag him non-exclusively, Ryan will be dust in the wind; as half the teams in the league would be more than happy to give up two first round picks for him.

    What Atlanta could do is set up is a contract just below “elite” level and then provide incentive bonuses or escalators for playoff wins and whatnot: ie. a guaranteed 90m over six years that can escalate 10% per playoff win in each year. So while his base salary wouldn’t be exorbitant, by helping the Falcons succeed, Ryan could make himself into one of the league’s highest paid players. I don’t think Matt is really a guy motivated by money, but that could be the best deal for Matt’s bank account and the Falcons’ cap room, not to mention Ryan/Atlanta’s quest for a Lombardi.

  8. conner87 says: Mar 3, 2013 12:26 PM

    As a Lions fan, I honestly thnk that Mayy Ice is a bbettter QB than Flacco, Matty is very consistent, Flacco is shaky in the regular season..

    Sorry for the Grammar mistakes. Autocorrect

  9. cowboys4203 says: Mar 3, 2013 12:26 PM

    Just about every player in the NFL is overpaid anyway and thats what owners will continue to do is overpay players!! Even players who constantly sit on the bench make 500,000 a year its rediculous. Nobody in sports deserves to make 20 million a year!!

  10. daknight93 says: Mar 3, 2013 12:28 PM

    Matt Will Get Paid Regardless….he will avg at least 20M per year because Flacco set the bar and Tom Condon will make sure he is paid cause he gets what he wants as a shark agent for CAA…

  11. ravenmuscle says: Mar 3, 2013 12:43 PM

    Matty Ice is a product of Tony Gonzalez…Julio Jones and Roddy White.

    With Gonzalez a questionmark to return…no Michael Turner and Jones and White being healthy all year…A BIG IF…Matty better hope the Falcons even make the playoffs.

  12. robf2010 says: Mar 3, 2013 1:29 PM

    These aren’t the dilemmas they’re made out to be. No one would have given up the two picks and offered Flacco a monster contract to lure him away from Baltimore. The Ravens could have used the non-exclusive tag. This is even more true of Matt Ryan. Aaron Rodgers will warrant the exclusive tag.

  13. sbaltimore says: Mar 3, 2013 1:40 PM

    Ryan = Over Rated.

  14. lightcleric says: Mar 3, 2013 2:09 PM

    It’s funny to hear people here in Atlanta fantasize about Stephen Jackson. The Falcons still have to resign their left tackle, probably sign Brent Grimes Grimes(who they already tagged once) after they cut Robinson leaving them barren in the secondary, AND sign their franchise quarterback to an extension…

  15. jm91rs says: Mar 3, 2013 2:25 PM

    All of these teams are looking for trouble giving one guy 1/6 of the entire team salary.

    And when did ravens fans become atlanta haters? the minute Flacco became the highest paid QB? Is there some sense of pride in that and you’re worried when Matty Ice or MVP Rodgers start making more?

    Flacco won a superbowl. Great for him. He got paid, great for him. He is not a top 5 QB though. Put any of the other great QB’s on that team and they would have won one by now too. He makes more money than Drew Brees? Drew Brees on the Ravens and they’d have 3 by now. Ozzie Newsome put together a great team with a pretty good QB, but he’s not the best in the league. Not close.

  16. wwttww says: Mar 3, 2013 2:31 PM

    Is there some kind of built in auto-hate Ravens fans have to bring on Ryan just because he was taken before your guy? Most Falcon fans, like myself, tend to follow Flacco but not as a competition….also if Ryan is a product of his offense around him…then its just as absurd to suggest Flacco is a product of his stout defense.

  17. jacktheraven says: Mar 3, 2013 3:03 PM

    I don’t hate Ryan. Ravens woulda taken him ist, if he was available. It’s hard for me to complain about Joe Flacco though. Raven fans are happy.
    Also, I’ve heard a lot of hate toward Joe from Falcon fans. I get it. It’s what fans do.

  18. jacktheraven says: Mar 3, 2013 3:05 PM

    I have some bad news for you though. Don’t think the hate will stop when Ryan wins a SB, and I think he can. Joe is still getting buried from non Raven fans.

  19. peytonsneck18 says: Mar 3, 2013 3:12 PM

    matt ryan and peyton manning has the same agent, trust me, he will get paid, tom condon is one of the highest paid agents out there, i hope the falcons have a huge bank

  20. scoobies05 says: Mar 3, 2013 3:14 PM

    ravens fan here and not a matt ryan hater at all. in my opinion while ryan puts up the numbers his big game performances pale in comparison to flacco. ryan just won his first playoff game nad flacco just won his first superbowl. because they were drafted in the same class they will be always be linked. right now flacco has the edge

  21. sportsnut101 says: Mar 3, 2013 3:30 PM

    Ryan got the best tandem wr in league n u can’t move the ball down the field with ease all the time. Even if they get doubled team on every play Sumone is open this offense should score 40 with ease

  22. marcinhouston says: Mar 3, 2013 3:57 PM

    If you think Matt Ryan’s playoff rep is bad now, then think for a second about what it will be if he falls short of winning the NFC again in 2013 with all the weapons he has, and then think about Rodgers, Eli, Brees, Kaepernick, Wilson, RG3, etc and all the competition he faces to win the NFC. He would be better off to take a little less now than risk going into free agency with the worst playoff rep ever.

  23. bigbadal21 says: Mar 3, 2013 8:27 PM

    The Ravens were crazy to give Flacco that contract. They should have lower tagged him and let the market decide his worth. As far as a team with a lot of cap structuring a contract the Ravens could not match is good news because the only teams with a lot of cap this year will have great draft positions next year. I would rather have Alex Smith and 2 extra first round picks then to overpay for Flacco.

  24. jacktheraven says: Mar 6, 2013 2:12 PM

    @ bigbadal -Ravens paid Joe, and both are happy. They’re not likly to ask fans like you. Oh, in case you haven’t heard, Alex Smith was traded to KC a week or 2 ago.

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