The Falcons have restructured quarterback Matt Ryan‘s contract. Unless they haven’t.
Reported by NFL Media as a done deal six days ago, the deal hasn’t been done. As explained during PFT Live and as the Falcons have since confirmed to PFT, the restructuring of Ryan’s deal has not been finalized.
It means that the new league year began with Ryan having an unprecedented cap charge of $48.66 million. The new deal would have dropped his cap number by $12 million, to $36.66 million.
Under the restructured deal, trading Ryan before June 1 would trigger a cap charge of $55.5 million for 2022. Under the current deal, a pre-June 1 trade would result in a cap charge of $40.525 million.
Thus, it makes sense to hold off on re-doing the deal until the Falcons know whether they’ll be getting Watson.
Here’s the catch. The clock is ticking. Ryan is due to receive a $7.5 million roster bonus tomorrow. Which means that, if he’s not off the roster by 4:00 p.m. ET today, the cap charge for a pre-June 1 trade moves to $48.025 million.
In Cleveland, the pursuit of Deshaun Watson quickly became a sense that the Browns will be dumping Baker Mayfield, even if they don’t get Watson. In Atlanta, if the Watson chase is the first step toward a Ryan divorce, then he’ll quite possibly be traded today.