Talks continue between Ryan, Falcons

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With two types of teams in the NFL — those with franchise quarterbacks and those searching for franchise quarterbacks — the teams that have franchise quarterbacks will never let them go.  But that hardly makes the ongoing contractual games of chess/checkers/chicken boring or perfunctory.

As the salary cap grows slowly and quarterback compensation continues to mushroom, teams are having a harder time finding ways to pay franchise quarterbacks while also having enough cap space to put competitive teams around them.

And so while there was no way Drew Brees would leave the Saints or Joe Flacco would leave the Ravens or Tony Romo would leave the Cowboys or Aaron Rodgers would leave the Packers or Matthew Stafford would leave the Lions, the details of their deals can have a huge impact on the futures of the specific franchises.

The team currently dealing with that dynamic is the Falcons.  According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, talks continue to replace the last year of Matt Ryan’s rookie contract with a long-term deal.

Time is of the essence, from the team’s perspective.  Signing Ryan now means the issue won’t be a distraction during the season.  It also means the Falcons won’t face what we call the Flacco trilemma in early 2014:  pay Ryan market value, use the non-exclusive franchise tag and risk another team crafting an unmatchable offer sheet, or use the exclusive franchise tag and embark on a year-to-year path that could pay out $80 million in only three seasons.

Speaking of Flacco, don’t be surprised if Ryan, who entered the league the same year as the defending Super Bowl champion, pushes for factors that exceed specific aspects of Flacco’s deal.  Whether it’s guaranteed money or payout over the first three years or new-money average, Ryan could emerge with a better deal than the guy who signed his back in February, when the Ravens resolved the Flacco dilemma with a six-year, $120.6 million contract.

The simple reality is that, if the Falcons wait until after Ryan emerges unscathed from the 2013 season, they’ll end up paying Ryan a lot more later than it would take to sign him now.

26 responses to “Talks continue between Ryan, Falcons

  1. I don’t know if Ryan has the “It” to win a Super Bowl, he is a solid young quarterback.

    Someone like KC or even Minn in a year would pay that man his money. ATL is going to be forced to step up to the plate.

  2. Ryan is a consummate professional. He has earned the right to get paid with the big boys.

    I’m glad that he’s not grandstanding like so many other players do (McNabb, Vick, Haynesworth) and try to negotiate through the media.

  3. how did stafford become a franchise QB? Don’t actually you have to win more than 4 games a season to be considered franchise QB?

  4. I don’t see any of these QB’s being worth it but if somebody is willing to pay then go for it….got to love Capitalism!

  5. There are two types of franchise quarterbacks in the NFL, those who win playoff games and those who choke. The NFL teams that have winning franchise quarterbacks will never let them go, so the Falcons will never have a chance to get one.

  6. Pretty boy Matt is just another Tony Romo. Piles up the stats with not much to show for it. At least I know why they call him “Matty Ice”. It’s because when the playoff heat is on, he melts.

  7. Falcons need to get Matt a new contract now before he wins the Superbowl this year. Dont need the price to go up even more!

  8. Falcons and Ryan get a lot of hate because things have gone a bit wrong in the playoffs, but there’s probably 25+ teams in the NFL who’d give anything to be in their position.

  9. Atlanta should roll the dice. If Ryan can’t deliver a SB this year with that offense they have put together, then he never will.

    I would add a third strata of QBs. Elite who win SBs. Elite who are stat killers but don’t win SBs. And scrubs. The first category (Rodgers, Brees, Flacco, Mannings, Brady) deserve the $20M+. The mid category guys (Romo, Rivers, Schaub, Ryan) don’t justify the $20M but deserve somewhere in the $13M-$17M range because they obviously need help in more areas.

  10. I’m a Dallas fan, I’m prefacing that bc I’m going to make some comparisons.

    Ryan is a lot like Romo in regards to production. Dallas and Atlanta re in similar boats in that both are pretty good teams, but both have underperformed over the years in terms of amount of talent vs deep playoff runs.

    I honestly don’t think Dallas should have, or Atlanta be willing to sign these huge long term deals. Yes, without a doubt both are the only real viable options at the moment. Their respective season finishes prevent them from drafting a decent replacement (save for blind luck ala Brady) or even trading up to draft one.

    But loom at it this way: both players have gotten the team close, and then folded. Its not all their fault, but the end result is that they werent enough of a difference maker. Which means they need some more talent around them. And theres no way to get enough of that talent when you break the bank for QBs who arent getting it done.

  11. ID love it if they were to gamble, the Vikings would be in a solid position to pay the man big money next season, although I will hate to see more of our big name guys leave, gonna be the final year for guys like Jared Allen, and Kevin Wiliams! Sometimes , the NFL sucks when the $$ part is involved and you have to say goodbye to your favorite guys! It is so rare to have a guy play his entire career on one team any longer….. When it happens it’s something special!

  12. Awesome picture for this story.

    With these constantly ballooning contracts these “Elite” QB’s who do nothing for the team when it counts (ahem, postseason?) keep demanding, it’s eventually going to cripple many-a-football team. A QB like Ryan is well above-average, but has proven he can’t win without high-level talent surrounding him. How can you do so if you’re smashing your piggy bank for one guy? I really wish we could see just a LITTLE bit more of the type of guys that would give up a bit of money to make their team and chances of a trophy better. Sadly, it’s more about the money than wins for the majority of today’s athletes.

  13. They finally get the rookie salaries under reasonable control and now it looks like the QB position is sucking up even more of the cap space. They are going to have to have a separate cap for them or change how their contracts affect the cap or we will end up with a lot more phenomenal QBs on mediocre teams which is never fun to watch.

  14. Falcons have to sign Ryan. He’s good enough. @ Grulk, you’re comparing Cowboys to Falcons. How many playoffs for the cowboys over the last 5 years? How many for the falcons?

  15. I am blessed to be from Brady-ville. But, I have to say that Matt Ryan is MUCH more accurate than Brady at the medium-to-long pass. While Brady is known for his decision-making, don’t balk at Ryan. Is accuracy is incredible!

    Earlier in his career, Brady was amazing at connecting on 3rd and long. But, that was because Matt Light, his left guard was still at the top of his game and gave him that extra second.

    Meanwhile, stop and take a look at the two of them when throwing for over 10 yards. Ryan is the man!

  16. Anyone saying that Matt Ryan should not be given an massive contract, answer this. Who would the Falcons turn to in the event that another team were willing to give Ryan a big contract? While he hasn’t yet proven he can win in the playoffs, that team is built for now and turning it over to a rookie or unproven guy if they let Ryan walk would be a huge mistake. It’s Matt Ryan’s team.

    Matt Ryan is far better than Joe Flacco, and the Ravens would probably trade them in a heartbeat. If flacco deserves the contract (based mainly on the superbowl, which he only made because the Broncos fell asleep in the playoffs), Ryan most certainly does as well.

  17. @donthehorns – I’m curious….you say you’d take Ryan on the Vikes. Why, if he’s only good enough to get you one playoff win before the games get too big for him? I realize that you’re in a division with good QB’s and haven’t had one of your own in a really long time. Still…would you be content consistently flaming out and drafting in the mid 20s with no hope to progress (considering that he’d take up a huge amount of cap space and leave you no $$ to pay for a supporting cast?)

  18. Question for those Matty Ice haters:

    Who else are they going to get that is an upgrade over Ryan?

    Doubts over his ability to win the big game are warranted, but the Falcons are consistently at the top of the NFC and have one of the most explosive offences in the league.

    At the end of the day, quarterbacks are going to get paid big bucks, especially those who win 10 plus games every season.

  19. ramsfan65 says:
    Jul 17, 2013 3:22 PM
    Question for those Matty Ice haters:

    Who else are they going to get that is an upgrade over Ryan?
    Not the point. Point is to find a QB that can win the big game. If he can’t, then it doesn’t make much sense dedicating 20% of your salary cap to him.

  20. Joe Flacco didn’t deserve Joe Flacco’s contract, and that’s coming off a Super Bowl season. What on Earth is the argument for paying Ryan more for less success?

    Ryan is a good enough QB and you aren’t finding an upgrade over him on the open market at the moment but if Q got Flacco his deal and Megatron got Stafford his deal I’d like to point out Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzales. I feel like I’d be good for 2000 yards and 10 touchdowns throwing to them.

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