Given that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was able to chase his new contract all the way to the Super Bowl win in 2012, maybe it would make more sense for the Falcons to dangle a $120 million carrot for Ryan in 2013.
During Friday’s PFT Live, I ran that possibility by Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, who has a specific self-interest in seeing Ryan get his team to the Super Bowl and win it, Flacco-style.
“I mean conventional wisdom would tell you that if you’re looking at most players but it Matt Ryan’s case that has nothing to do with it,” Gonzalez said. “He’s not motivated by that one bit and I’d take that to the bank. He is a self-motivated guy that wants to go out there and be the best quarterback that he can be and keep improving, and that’s why I love him so much. That’s why I love being around the guy, because he’s a winner. He has the ‘it’ factor. . . .
“That talent level is high with him but then also work as well with it and put in overtime. He’s the first one at that facility in the morning and he’s the last one to leave at night. Sometimes three, four hours after the last person leaves he’s in there watching film, breaking down film until 10:00, 12:00 at night and you got to appreciate that in your quarterback because he’s the most important position on that field and Matt isn’t motivated by this contract, he just wants to go out there and win Super Bowls and go down in the history as one of the best players to ever play this game. Hopefully he can get to that point.”
Gonzalez is hoping the Falcons can get to that point where they’re holding the Lombardi Trophy. He came back for one last shot at a championship, and his pursuit of it will be one of the most compelling story lines of the 2013 season.
Here’s the full interview with Gonzalez. (That’s a very subtle way of saying, “Please watch it.”)This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!