I read thru that whole first thread, Pudge, and don't see what you seem to. All anyone was saying was to take a wait and see approach which the org did. I also contend that he may be the third best QB in the division...big may. i have a lot of faith that Cam is going to really get it together.
Well IMO, the reluctance to pay Ryan was a sign that people still had faint lingering doubts about him. I never really bought the "injury risk" espoused in that thread. As we know now that they've paid him, he's still an injury risk. His playing the past season didn't make him any less prone to injury.
When you look back to "career-changing" injuries to players like Kurt Warner, Carson Palmer, and Daunte Culpepper, the reality is none of those teams were able to upgrade their QB situations afterwards. Bulger basically had 1 good season in STL (2003) and the rest of his time there he was an injury-prone .500 QB. Andy Dalton is not a better player than Palmer, he just plays on a much better team than Palmer. And the Vikings have struggled at the QB position since Culpepper's injury 8 years with Tarvaris Jackson, Brad Johnson, Gus Frerotte, and Christian Ponder helming the spot, besides the 1 good season Brett Favre had it. Besides that 1 year with Favre (2009), they've consistently been a below average offense that has never rated higher than the 19th best passing attack in the league.
The point I'm making is that in this hypothetical situation where Ryan suffers a career-threatening/changing injury, the issue wouldn't have been the money we paid him, it would have been the injury itself. Because recent history tells us if the injury is enough to make Ryan a far less effective QB, the likelihood that the Falcons would stumble upon someone better is very low.
By the end of 2011, Matt Ryan had proven without a doubt that he was a franchise QB, and thus deserved a contract extension. And the Falcons could have saved themselves several million in guaranteed money had they paid him then. As I said then, I believed the Falcons could have gotten Ryan for under $45 million guaranteed. They wound up giving him $59 million, because as I said then, several other franchise QBs would sign deals that would set the market for Ryan.
Whether people wish to admit it or not, I still believe there was a sizable group of people on this forum and in this fan base that needed to see Matt Ryan win a playoff game before they were fully sold on him.