Falcons owe Matt Ryan more than $50 million over the next three years


The Falcons won’t be benching quarterback Matt Ryan, in large part because they don’t have anyone else who would be remotely successful for the balance of 2015.

Come 2016, things could get interesting.

Under his second contract, signed in 2013, Ryan is still due to receive more than $50 million over the next three seasons. Specifically, he gets a base salary of $15.75 million in 2016, $15.75 million in 2017, and $19.25 million in 2018.

Ryan already has received a $28 million signing bonus, a $12 million option bonus, and base salaries of $23 million over the last three years. That’s $63 million so far.

In making decisions about Ryan, the Falcons need to forget about the money that has been paid and consider the money to be paid. Is Ryan worth another $50.75 million over the next three years? Would someone else pay Ryan more than whatever the Falcons are willing to pay on a reduced deal?

The other question is whether someone else would be willing to pick up Ryan’s contract, which would allow the Falcons to potentially trade him.

Ultimately, the Falcons have to ask themselves whether they can do better than Ryan. And if Kyle Shanahan will be sticking around as offensive coordinator, it’s not unreasonable to wonder whether he shares his father’s feelings about Kirk Cousins.

72 responses to “Falcons owe Matt Ryan more than $50 million over the next three years

  1. The QBs that are better than Ryan the Falcons won’t be able to acquire without taking a step back. Teams get caught in that area and it stinks for them, because the either need to move on the QB and take a step back and hope the next guy becomes better, or bring someone in to help further his development.

    Teams like the Bengals, Bears, and 9ers with Kaep have been caught in that no man’s land whenit comes to QBs. They don’t want to regress so they try paying those guys big to keep them around, because there are 10 other teams that would be willing to gamble on that QB because thier current QB situation is even worse. Washington Phins, Texans, just off the top of my head to name a few.

    Its a darned if you do darned if you don’t sort of thing.

  2. Ryan already has received a $28 million signing bonus, a $12 million option bonus, and base salaries of $23 million over the last three years. That’s $68 million so far.

    $28+12+23=$68? 🤕 my brain hurts

  3. Nice attempt to connect the dots and string unrelated facts together to manufacture a non- story. This team has a QB. It needs offensive and defensive line talent before a new QB.

    does any new coach scrap his QB in year two when they only have three years to turn things around and advance into the playoffs? I thought not. Matts Ice Stays in the Picture!

  4. The answer is yes, someone will be more than happy to pay him 50 mil over 3 years. Thats 16 mil and change per year, that is definitely within the starting QB pay scale in the NFL. He isn’t abysmal, he just shouldn’t be the focal point, see Alex Smith as an example.

  5. I didn’t go to college but, $28 mil plus $12 mil plus $23 mil times 3 equals $109 mil not $68.

  6. So, who would they replace him with? That question seems unanswered every time someone writes a ‘cut Ryan/Stafford/Cutler’ article. Talented QB’s are kind of hard to come by.

    That seems like the going rate for a starting QB, at least one with the ability to lead a team to success. I’d say keep him, get him comfortable within the offensive scheme, draft some talent that fits that scheme and hope for the best.

  7. The Falcons are not trading Matt Ryan. His body of work in comparison to 99.9% of other men who have played the position is exemplary.

    People need more patience. I understand this world we live in has within the past 5 or so years become one of complete instant gratification but, last year people were calling for Tom Brady to be benched week 3.

    People need to stop. Just, stop. Appreciate what you have and move forward. This is insane, Matt Ryan has zero help and its “all his fault”, so lets rebuild, its absolute madness.

    Its just frustrating to read articles like this that are simply preposterous. Consider what would happen for just one moment if the Falcons cut or traded Ryan, you enter QB hell like the majority of the league and you are stuck with a green QB with absolutely zero talent surrounding him. Than you can go draft another QB in two years.

    You should submit your resume to become the GM of the Cleveland Browns.

  8. When you play poker, one of the first things you learn is never to base your decision on what you already have put in the pot, but rather how much more you will have to put in to stay in the hand.

    As you said, the same principle applies here. The Falcons can’t allow the the $68M they’ve already spent as a factor when deciding whether to spend another $50M. I wouldn’t seem to be a sensible investment at this point.

    However, in a world where people are speculating that Kirk Cousins might be on the way to a contract in the $15-$20M per year range, it may not be that crazy.

  9. They came into the league together…it has been 8 years…can everyone finally acknowledge:


  10. Who cares what the Falcons owe him? There’s a reason the salary cap is like $143 million. That money has gotta be spent somewhere. Most successful teams spend lots of money on the right guy.

  11. So how many ‘will this team try to dump their expensive QB who’s having a bad year?’ articles will there be? Of course in these imaginary scenarios there’s no mention of just who in the world they’d replace them with, especially in today’s QB empty NFL.

  12. Please tell me what better QB options the Falcons have….you can’t just say you need to find the next Brady or Rodgers. There’s a reason those guys are never available. Elite QBs aren’t just sitting on the streets waiting to be called. Their best option is to find the right offensive coaches that will turn him into an elite guy. That CAN be done. Rodgers was far from elite his first season but look at him now (generally speaking).

    Matt Ryan isn’t going anywhere. They need to show commitment to him and continue to build a team around him.

  13. When he had a functional defense and running game he was a top 10 qb. Maybe they should go that route again?

  14. both Shannys loved Cousins. Washington can pay him or someone else will based on this years performance. May as well be Atlanta. im guessing with Cousins you’d get 4 yrs for what Atlanta owes Matt Ryan for 3. you would also get someone more oriented to be being on the move with bootlegs and play action.
    Matt Ryan has sucked raw oysters and needs to get it going.
    he gets the Panthers 2 days after christmas this year. it might be ugly

  15. Stop suggesting teams should try to trade away competent quarterbacks. A few bad games doesn’t mean a team should have a fire sale for their most important player. The same articles ran when Stafford was playing poorly. Thoughts of trades for competent quarterbacks are ludicrous, and you know it. Unless Aaron Rodgers 2.0 sitting is sitting on the Falcons bench, Matt Ryan is going no where.

  16. I don’t believe this is all that difficult to figure out. Follow Kyle Shanahan’s track record. Shanahan is a proven quarterback killer. Awesome run game but horrible in the passing game he calls. Ryan is clearly uncomfortable in this system being expected to do things he’s never excelled in. Ryan’s mechanics are off because the system doesn’t fit his skill set.

  17. Well, only two options. Trade him or pay him. He’s not worthy of that much money, considering he hasn’t done anything yet. I would trade him and draft another qb.

  18. Wow! So much money for a guy who has done absolutely nothing in the NFL except to pad his resume with regular season wins and then to choke when he plays real competition.

  19. Matt Ryan is not a bad QB. If he had a good team around him, he’d rank in the top 10. I view Ryan the same as Stafford. Good QBs with questionable systems around them. Put a good team around Ryan and he will win.

  20. Ryan has the weakest arm in the entire league. He was only successful with the 10 yard, dink and dunk passes the previous coach implemented to help him.

    This coach obviously wants to stretch the field and with a jet like Julio Jones, he should stretch the field.

    The issue is, any pass beyond 15 yards, Ryan’s passes have zero velocity and float in the air, waiting for a defender to bat it down or pick it.

    Home Depot….clean-up on isle 2 !

  21. Remember: the so-called top run defense in the NFL allowed Adrian Peterson to run for over 150 yards. (psssst !!!…. teams know that the Falcons once again have ZERO pass rush & any opposing quarterback can take their sweet time until a receiver opens up, no need to run the ball if you don’t feel like it). Football… just like so many things in life… is a two way street.

  22. Ryan is a good QB but not a great one. He has his good games and bad games but lots of his best moments have come against bad teams and they gave him a contract based on his best play more than his overall play which is why they’re now in a bind.

  23. Matt Ryan’s peak ended 3 years ago. Since then his play has gone from a slow regression to the present day rapid descent. He’s never won the bigger games he’s played in. He’s always received far more credit than he actually deserved. At this point in his career the odds of him regaining his form and breaking through his glass ceiling are next to none. In the words of Paulie from the Sopranos…”it’s time to whack him”.

  24. the author seems to think it’s easy to get rid of a franchise qb and instantly find another. um, no. maybe a tight end and new #2 wideout along with some pass rushers, perhaps a new OC, then we can talk.

  25. Given the fact that the paint is barely dry on the current stadium, but its time to move to a new one, who knows what the Falcons are thinking.

  26. Is Matt Ryan worth $50 million of the next three years? No.

    Will the Falcons pay Matt Ryan $50 million over the next three years? Yes.

    Why? Because he’s simply better than a number of other starting QBs in a QB-driven league. Value is relative, not absolute.

  27. Does anyone realize most QBs “choke” or “lose” in playoffs or against “elite” defenses/teams? This guy is still one of the best QBs in the league.

  28. I personally find it really hard to judge QB’s like Ryan, Stafford, Brees, and Romo. They all play 8 or 9 games per year in perfect conditions inside a dome. If you struggle in perfect conditions how can you expect they will do outside in harsher climates.
    I’m not saying they can’t win outside, I’m just saying I find it really difficult to judge how good they really are.

  29. Unless Ryan is willing to renegotiate he isn’t getting traded. We keep talking about contract #’s like they matter. What matters is the % of the cap you pay your starting QB and with the increases since he signed it he will be paid like a QB in the 10-15 range. If you think there will be a top 10 QB available then go for it…but you can’t come here with a straight face and say he lacks the physical and mental tools to be a top tier QB. Clearly, the coach/system and the OL issues have hurt his performance. I’d ask him to take a pay cut and tell him you’re gonna spend the $ on the OL. Bet he jumps at it.

  30. Don’t believe Shanahan sucks? Cousins is flourishing in DC, Manziel plays well when he’s on the field, Hoyer looks like a genius in Houston. Shanahan is bad OC.

  31. Leave it to the Falcons to ruin a very promising young quarterback by giving him no offensive line or running game year after year. I hope the Colts don’t do the same thing with Luck.

  32. There are potentially 9 franchises that could be in the market for a new QB this off season, those owners would do just about anything to get Matt Ryan as their QB.

  33. Matty Ice lol. The guy has never won a thing and gets paid like he has.
    Honestly – he is one of the more overrated players in the entire NFL.

  34. So…pay the bum. He was overrated coming out of BC and continues to be. He is absolutely 100% NOT clutch, which is the only thing that matters for a QB (unless you are a fantasy football geek). They have no one to blame except themselves. Enjoy mediocrity the next few years.

  35. As a Jets fan I think the Falcons should get rid of him, and move on.
    Trade him to the Jets for a 1st round pick.
    Then the falcons can be in the situation the Jets have been in with Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith for 6 years.
    Ryan Fitzpatrick is doing so-so this year, which is good considering he’s making around 3.5MM.

    Seriously, look around the league. How many teams have GOOD QBs? If your QB is a tier 2 QB (lets say Ryan Tannehill or Andy Dalton), do you “move on” because they aren’t as good as Rodgers, Brady, Brees, etc.
    No – you wish you had a better QB, but many 1st round QBs turn out to be so-so or worse.
    How many QBs since 2006 (10 years of draft classes) are a lot better than your teams QB? How many of those QBs are the same as or worse?
    The odds don’t favor being able to easily replace a solid Tier 2 QB.

  36. 4 weeks into the season and everyone in the media was deeming him a MVP candidate, and now they’re saying the Falcons should look into getting rid of him. It’s his first year in a new system and the team as a whole is struggling.

  37. You give any QB a great defense and a running game and they will do great things, ask Trent Dilfer.

    Even with the injury and down year I laugh when people, even in Baltimore, compare Ryan and Flacco. What has Ryan done, win a single playoff game?

  38. To win year after year regardless of a bad off. line, lack of receiver depth, different OC’s….that’s what the GREATS do. Good is the enemy of Great, and Matt is simply good. 2012 was as good as it will ever get for ATL in the MR era. Up 17-0 to SF in NFC Championship. All MR had to do was NOT throw a pick in the second half (which he did). OR if he could have engineered ONE SINGLE TD in the second half…(which he COULD NOT). But this is not groundbreaking news. He is who he is. He is always one-and-done when ATL makes the playoffs. His one playoff win was a stroke of luck at the end when Seattle left enough time for a decent kick return and a couple of quick throws and a Matt Bryant kick (which he missed first but Pete Carroll called time). He has never beat a meaningful opponent in a meaningful game. He yardage and his stats are skewed…as Bellichik said…”stats are for losers”.

  39. So many on here lose it over how much QB X makes. Most prominent QB’s make around the same amount. That is those not married to a top fashion model selling her coffee book for 600$ a pop.

  40. 1. To the idiot who said Matt has no help:

    > Best WR in NFL
    > Franchise LT (Top #6 pick)
    > Solid ground game

    He has a lot more than Cam Newton.

    2. To the professor who said your best bet is too get him coaches that can make him elite.

    > No. Dont try and teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and annoys the pig.

    You surround him with a running game and a defense and put him in a position to succeed, within his limits. You don’t try coach him to be ‘elite.’

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