Kirk Cousins is about to make a pile of money, because he’s the first good quarterback to hit unrestricted free agency in years.
Aaron Rodgers is about to make an even bigger pile, because he’s the best quarterback in the NFL.
Somewhere in between, one would think Matt Ryan slots in, as a former league MVP who has led the Falcons to a Super Bowl.
Ryan is entering the final year of his current contract, and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff indicated Wednesday he wanted to get something done in the next few weeks if possible.
“Initial talks are positive, of course,” Dimitroff said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. “We both know where Matt needs to be. … He wants to be here. As I’ve said, I don’t think it’s a complicated situation. It’s significant. We’re just going to have to be mindful of not stressing too much about the timing of it.
“Our drive is to get it done, obviously, soon. And I can see it getting done in the relatively near future. But I’m not fretting if it’s delayed.”
Time and market realities dictate that he’ll do better than the five-year, $103.75 million deal he signed in 2013, but an extension now could lower his 2018 cap hit and give the Falcons some flexibility in free agency, but Dimitroff downplayed the urgency.
“Of course, everyone wants to get certain deals done before free agency,” Dimitroff said. “That said, you can’t necessarily cajole or force the quarterback and his representation and the market to settle and play out just because we want to get it done. That’s something where I don’t get too tied up in the conversation about having this done by the beginning of free agency.”
Ryan’s agent Tom Condon topped the quarterback market last fall with Matt Stafford‘s $27 million deal, only to be topped when Jimmy Garoppolo got his deal from the 49ers this offseason. And while Cousins might set a new mark (at least until Rodgers gets paid), the Ryan negotiations will be interesting if only to see if he and Condon are willing to go first before Cousins gets his chance when the market opens March 14.