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Matt Ryan, Falcons expected to explore contract extension

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan appears to be the favorite to win the MVP for 2016, and it might be time to cash in like one.

The Falcons and Ryan are expected to explore a contract extension this offseason, sources say, despite Ryan having two years left on his current deal. The potential new contract, coming after the best year of the quarterback's career, could threaten Colts quarterback Andrew Luck as the game's highest-paid player. Rarely do teams come to players with two years to go on their contracts, but it does happen with marquee players. Given the way Ryan has thrived alongside offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in one of the NFL's most prolific offenses, he has certainly earned his reputation as one of the game's top quarterbacks.

Agent Tom Condon is expected to try to capitalize on Ryan's standout season.

Ryan benefited from perfect timing on his last contract extension. He broke the bank in 2013 right before training camp when he agreed to a five-year, $103.75 million contract extension. He had just thrown for 4,700 yards with a passer rating of 99.1 and led the Falcons to the NFC title game.

This season, Ryan has a career-high 4,944 yards passing and an incredibly high passer rating of 117.1 heading into Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Packers.

Once again ready to cash in.

Ryan's last contract extension came with a year left on his rookie deal. Don't be surprised if he gets one this offseason with two years remaining on his current deal.

For the Falcons, a Ryan extension likely wouldn't have a negative effect on their salary-cap situation. Ryan's cap number for 2017 is slated to be $23.75 million, and that should go down with an extension. But with the club already is paying him more than $20 million per year, so there likely wouldn't be a dramatic adjustment.

Right now, Luck is the highest-paid quarterback at $24.59 million per year. Ryan is the 11th-highest paid quarterback. Don't be surprised if Ryan, via Condon, attempts to eclipse Luck's deal. Condon also has Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford with a year left on his deal and the potential of doing an extension this offseason.

If Ryan and the Falcons beat the Packers on Sunday, the quarterback's asking price could go even higher.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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