The next domino has fallen in the ongoing game of quarterback jackpot.
Per a league source with knowledge of the situation, the Falcons and quarterback Matt Ryan have completed a long-term deal that puts Ryan under contract for six years.
The five-year extension pays $20.75 million per year, giving Ryan the second highest annual new-money average, ahead of Joe Flacco’s $20.1 million and behind Aaron Rodgers’ $22 million.
Also, Ryan gets $59 million guaranteed, and $63 million over the first three years. (Flacco, whose contract likely was the benchmark for Ryan, got $52 million guaranteed and $62 million over the first three years.)
Factoring in Ryan’s 2013 base salary of $10 million, it’s a six-year, $113.75 million package.
That’s a lot of money, but if could have been even more if Ryan had made it through the 2013 season unscathed, forcing the Falcons to resolve at that point the Flacco trilemma of: (1) paying market value; (2) using the non-exclusive franchise tag and risk another team making an offer the Falcons can’t match; or (3) using the exclusive tag and embarking on a path of potentially paying Ryan nearly $80 million over three one-year franchise tenders.