Jason La Canfora of NFL.com reports that the Falcons plan to explore a contract extension with quarterback Matt Ryan. Ryan has two years remaining on his rookie contract that he signed in 2008.
Ryan carries a cap hit of $13.5 million this year, with $2.5 million of that being guaranteed, the last guaranteed dollars to be paid on his rookie deal. By extending his deal, it would significantly lessen that cap figure and give the Falcons more money to potentially spend on the open market this off-season. Reports indicate the Falcons have roughly $30 million to spend under this year’s projected cap. It would also increase the amount of guaranteed dollars that Ryan could net in the coming years, making an extension mutually beneficial for both parties. Ryan’s cap hit in 2013 will be $10 million, none of which is guaranteed.
Fellow 2008 first round draftee Joe Flacco is seeking a contract extension from the Baltimore Ravens. Ryan signed a six-year contract worth $72 million with $34.75 million guaranteed in 2008, and any future deal is likely to exceed those totals. Since then, passers like Philip Rivers and Eli Manning have signed deals averaging around $15 million a year with between $35 and $40 million guaranteed. Top draft picks Matthew Stafford and Sam Bradford signed deals that included roughly $42 and $50 million in guaranteed money as well in the past four years. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning signed deals over the past two seasons that averaged $18 million a year and had guaranteed money of $49 and $54.4 million, respectively.