Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco have been linked since they entered the NFL together as first-round picks in the 2008 NFL Draft. Now that Flacco has become the highest-paid player in the NFL, Ryan has a chance to match or exceed the Baltimore Ravens quaterback's six-year, $120.6 million contract.
"For Matt right now, he's not worried about it because he knows that something is around the corner, as we do," Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said on "NFL AM" on Thursday. "I can't put an exact date on it. This is a long-winded way of saying I'm hoping we can agree to something going into the season."
Along with Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith, Ryan has led the Falcons to the most successful era in franchise history. While Flacco has the edge in playoff success, Ryan leads all NFL quarterbacks in regular-season wins and fourth-quarter or overtime comebacks since 2008.
One estimate sets Ryan's next contract at $21 million to $23 million annually with more than $60 million in guarantees. Expect his contract to fall in line behind the contract Rodgers is expected to sign soon, but just ahead of Flacco's.
Ryan appears to have his strongest supporting cast to date, but the Falcons still might use another pass-rusher to complement defensive end Osi Umenyiora. Asked by the "NFL AM" crew about the potential return of unsigned free agent John Abraham, Dimitroff replied, "You never say never."
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