Thursday’s release of starting right tackle Tyson Clabo came as a bit of a surprise, but the Falcons’ ulterior motives for making the move aren’t surprising at all.
The team wants to sign quarterback Matt Ryan to a contract extension and excising Clabo’s $4.5 million base salary will help them do that. Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff didn’t address Clabo’s departure during an appearance on the NFL Network Thursday, but he did confirm that the team is hoping to get something done with Ryan before the start of next season.
“For Matt right now, he’s not worried about it because he knows that something is around the corner, as we do,” Dimitroff said. “I can’t put an exact date on it, this is a long-winded way of saying I’m hoping we can agree to something going into the season.”
As the two quarterbacks drafted in the first round of the 2008 draft, Ryan and Joe Flacco have been linked throughout their careers. If Ryan’s deal does wind up getting done, those links will go stronger with each man landing a new contract this offseason. The question will be whether Ryan winds up taking home as much money as they guy drafted 15 spots behind him in that round.