Falcons sign Matt Ryan to five-year, $100 million contract

Scott Cunningham

Matt Ryan gets to play nemesis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for another five years, at least.

The Atlanta Falcons have signed quarterback Matt Ryan to a five-year, $103.75 million extension with $59 million guaranteed and $63 million in the first three years, per Chris Mortensen of ESPN. That should put him under contract with the Falcons through the 2018 season, as he still had one year left under his old contract.

I wish I could tell you that the Atlanta Falcons will now run into salary cap issues. But that's unlikely: they've been pretty good at managing their cap every since Thomas Dimitroff took over as general manager. They had a healthy $6 million in cap space this season, and that was with Ryan counting $12 million against the cap. Next year, they have just $103 million committed to the cap, according to OverTheCap.com. They won't have oodles of cap space, and they may not be able to sign top-of-the-lie free agents -- but they were never a team to do that, anyway.

Here's the good news, though: Matt Ryan kind of sucks against the Buccaneers. In 10 games against the Bucs, he's completed 60.7% of his passes for 2,069 yards at 6.94 yards per attempt. He also threw for 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Those numbers fall well below his career averages, and a whopping 1/6th of all his interceptions have come against the Buccaneers.

On the other hand, the Falcons did win 7 of those 10 games, so Ryan's relatively subpar play didn't hurt them too much. And to make matters worse: Ryan really improved last season, especially in his pocket presence and pocket movement.

Here's to hoping their patchwork offensive line turns out to be their Achilles heel, I guess.

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