Dimitroff on Matt Ryan extension: “I think we’re close”

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The Falcons have wanted to get a new contract in place with quarterback Matt Ryan. That may be happening soon.

I think we’re close,” G.M. Thomas Dimitroff told 680 The Fan in Atlanta on Tuesday.

Dimitroff, who acquired Ryan a decade ago with the third overall pick in the draft, says “it’s not a complicated process,” and it shouldn’t be. Ryan is due to make $19.25 million this year. With a cap number of $21.65 million, Ryan’s franchise tender in 2019 would be $25.98 million. In 2020, it would be $31.176 million. At a minimum, Ryan should want we he’s due to make over the next three years fully guaranteed at signing. That’s $76.4 million.

The problem, of course, is that Kirk Cousins has set a new high-water mark of $84 million over three years. Ryan (or at least his agent) may want to do better than that.

But Cousins got to $28 million per year by hitting the open market. That happened after he completed his contract and spent two years under the franchise tag. Ryan doesn’t have that same leverage.

Maybe, then, they’ll split the difference between $76.4 million and $84 million over three years. That would be $80.2 million, fully guaranteed at signing over the next three years, possibly with a couple of non-guaranteed years at the back end of the deal.

However it plays out, it’s hard to envision Ryan playing for anyone else. The real question is how much money he can reasonably squeeze out of the team — and whether he gets it now or after completing his current deal.