Falcons’ Matt Ryan becomes first NFL quarterback to get deal with $100 million guarantee



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You knew it was bound to happen, it was just a question of when. 

Now, with free agency and the draft out of the way, the Atlanta Falcons have taken care of their guy. 

Quarterback Matt Ryan on Thursday agreed to a five-year contract extension that includes an average annual salary of $30 million, and $100 million in guaranteed money, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations. The person requested anonymity because the figures were not publicly announced. 

Ryan becomes the first quarterback to land a contract of $100 million guaranteed. And, he sets the annual compensation bar at $30 million.

Ryan, a 10-year veteran, was entering the final year of a contact signed in 2013, and his salary for 2018 was slated for Just under $20 million. 

But the Falcons intended to extend him this year to avoid letting him hit free agency next offseason. 

Once Kirk Cousins inked a three-year, fully guaranteed $84 million contract with Minnesota in March, it was expected that Ryan would soon after land a deal with figures that would top Cousins’. 

The deal Cousins signed featured an annual salary of $28 million, and that topped the $27.5 million per year deal  the 49ers gave Jimmy Garoppolo. 

Sure enough, Ryan has topped those salaries. Clearly, the Falcons saw it as extremely important they prove to Ryan how important he is to them. 

“This extension was our primary focus this offseason,” said General Manager Thomas Dimitroff in a statement. “Matt has been a pillar of stability for this franchise for a decade, and it is a great feeling knowing that he will remain at our helm for six more years. Matt has proven to be a leader for this franchise on and off the field, and we are fortunate to have him as our quarterback. Matt has guided us to a decade of success that is unmatched in franchise history, but we all know there is more to be accomplished, and we are confident we can get that done with Matt.”

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Ryan certainly is more accomplished than either Cousins or Garoppolo. He’s a four-time Pro Bowl selection and the 2016 MVP. That same season, he took the Falcons to the Super Bowl, and they jumped out to a commanding lead but collapsed in the second half. 

Ryan, who owns a 95-63 regular-season record and 4-6 playoff mark, now faces the task of leading his team back to such heights and beyond.

It’ll be interesting to see how long Ryan remains as the highest paid quarterback. Aaron Rodgers is due a contract extension from the Packers, so it’s foreseeable that his deal will top Ryan’s. 

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