By Jeff Schultz
FLOWERY BRANCH -- So I'm assuming Day 2 of Falcons training camp won't bring the same level of news as Day 1.
As you know by now, the Falcons signed Matt Ryan to a five-year contract extension worth $103.75 million. The guaranteed money ($59 million) and the payout in the first three seasons ($63 millions) places him in elite company -- with Super Bowl winners. In fact, Ryan's annual average salary ($20.75 million) exceeds the still wet-ink deal of last year’s Super Bowl-winning quarterback (Joe Flacco, $20.1 million) and sits just behind only another Super Bowl winner (Aaron Rodgers, $22 million).
The Falcons took a leap of faith. Can Ryan prove he belongs in that company?
I'll have a full column on the signing shortly. But I felt it was worth noting that the Falcons haven't extended themselves financially like this since giving Michael Vick a 10-year, $130 million contract in December of 2004. I know -- nobody wants to be reminded of Vick, nor how his tenure with the Falcons ended. But the point is that with every big deal comes risk, and the Falcons are rolling the dice a little here, hoping and assuming Ryan can lead them to a Super Bowl.
He is 56-22 in the regular season and 1-4 in the postseason. Which will prove to be the more accurate gauge when trying to project his career?
The column will be posted shortly, but here's your chance to provide some feedback on Ryan's deal.
UPDATE: Here's a link to the full column (subscription).