By Nick Anderson: The Atlanta Falcons need to make a move with their starting quarterback Matt Ryan to sew up contract negotiations with him before the season is over if they want to avoid another potential Joe Flacco type situation where they may need to pay him well over $20 million per season.
Ryan’s original 5-year contract expires this season and he’s going to command a huge salary with the numbers that he’s put up in his five seasons with the Falcons in the NFL. For instance, last season Ryan threw for 4,719 yards on 422 of 615 pass attempts with a completion percentage of 68.6.
That is about as good as you can play in the NFL. His quarterback rating was 99, and it would have been higher had he not thrown 14 interceptions totals are what consistently is keeping Ryan below the 100 mark in the quarterback ratings, but it’s probably unavoidable when you’ve got a player like him who threads passes in tight spots much of the time in his games.
Ryan’s numbers in 2012 showed clear improvement upon the numbers that he put up in 2011 where he passed for 4,177 yards on 347 of 566 pass attempts with a completion percentage of 61.3. If those numbers continue to improve in 2013 then we could see Ryan passing for over 5,000 yards, completing over 500 passes with a completion percentage of 70 percent or better.
I think it would be better for the Falcons to iron a deal with Ryan before this season rather than after because if Ryan improves over last season then the Falcons are going to need to pay him a bunch of money to keep him.
Additionally, Ryan took the Falcons to the NFC Championship game last season where they just barely came up short against the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 28-24. Ryan shredded the Niners secondary, passing for 396 yards on 30 of 42 pass attempts. If Ryan is able to take the Falcons to the Super Bowl this season then he’s going to be in a great position to ask for big, big money and the Falcons are going to have to pay if they want to keep him happy.