Atlanta Falcons: What Brees’ deal means to Matt Ryan?

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH:  Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completes a pass during the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.      CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completes a pass during the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

BIRDLAND – The cost of playing quarterback in the NFL just went up for league owners.

With the New Orleans Saints signing Drew Brees to a five-year, $100 million contract on Friday, the ancillary beneficiaries include Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and Dallas’ Tony Romo. Their contracts expire in 2013. Down the road a bit, Detroit’s Matthew Stafford and Carolina’s Cam Newton should also benefit.

Ryan, who’s set to make a base salary of $11.5 million this season and $10 million next season, is nearing the end of a six-year, $72 million deal.

Ryan still has time to set his value. He wasn’t selected by the players as one of the top 100 players in the league. However, ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski selected him as the 11th rated quarterback in the league.

Under general manager Thomas Dimitroff, the Falcons have made it a practice to re-sign players to contract extensions in the last year of their deals if they plan to retain them.

Last season, tight end Tony Gonzalez received an extension. In 2010, with the labor strife, the Falcons did not offer any extensions. In 2008, they extended defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux and wide receiver Michael Jenkins.

Ryan has posted a 43-19 record in four seasons with the Falcons. He was drafted in the first round (third overall) of the 2008 NFL draft. He has guided them to the playoffs in three of his four seasons, but is 0-3.

He’s set to play under a new offensive coordinator — Dirk Koetter — this season for the first time.

The bulk of guaranteed money in Ryan’s contract was paid out in 2011, when he earned a $22 million roster bonus on top of his $10.25 million salary.

“Of course, Drew Brees’ $60 [million] guarantee is half of [former Atlanta Hawk] Joe Johnson’s $120M and one quarter of [baseball player] Albert Pujols’ $240M; some perspective,” wrote former NFL executive Andrew Brandt in a tweet. He used to negotiate the contracts for the Green Bay Packers.

Brandt added that the key to Brees’ contact was that Peyton Manning signed with the Denver Broncos for $18 million in 2012 and noted that if he passes his 2013 physical a $40 million guarantee would be activated, giving him a $58 million guarantee.

Other top quarterbacks like Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and New England’s Tom Brady, also stand to benefit from Brees’ deal. Rogers, who is under contract for the next three seasons, has a contract that averages $8 million.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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127 comments Add your comment

DCBravosFan

July 13th, 2012
6:27 pm

DCBravosFan

July 13th, 2012
6:29 pm

DOB, how much cap room do the birds have over the next few years if they wanted to extend Matty Ice?

DCBravosFan

July 13th, 2012
6:31 pm

sorry, *D-Led. Been listening to Brooklyn Zoo lately, and got some nicknames twisted in my head!

Mike Franklin

July 13th, 2012
6:32 pm

Brees is a proven commodity so… while $100 million sounds disgusting to many (including me), and especially as ticket prices go up and the Saints franchise is in hot water, it really don’t mean squat. The Saints would be a cesspool floater without him.

Maynard Jackson

July 13th, 2012
6:35 pm

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

realitycheck

July 13th, 2012
6:49 pm

Ryan is two years away from being someone’s backup. Being clumsy and slow footed are a couple of the main reasons why Ryan will never be elite, and it’s certainly possible he has already hit his ceiling. The same kool aid that was being passed around on these blogs last year is again being served and again I will let some dreamer or homer drink my glass just as they did last season!

hiramsaint

July 13th, 2012
6:53 pm

it means matty meltdown is still 0-3 in the postseason and has thrown more picks than td’s in said games . it means he’s not elite and will never even sniff greatness unless he gets close to brees before the games this season !

hiramsaint

July 13th, 2012
6:53 pm

@ mike -kinda like the failclowns with ryan right now huh!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 13th, 2012
6:55 pm

DCBravosFan — A lot contracts are coming up. They could do it after this season so he doesn’t go into his last year in limbo land or they can make him play it out.

Sly Boarders

July 13th, 2012
7:04 pm

Who has gotten more Atlanta money: Matt Ryan or Mike Hampton?

Mike Franklin

July 13th, 2012
7:04 pm

@hiramsaint
All things being as they are, I think Matty has a chance to rise and get better while Brees is marking time with age with a team in decline. But… let’s not argue here because it really means nothing. We have two games to play… we’ll let that do our arguing for us :)

JSS

July 13th, 2012
7:07 pm

Called it!!! I said after your (Ledbetter) appearance that if that man gets an extension after having that absurd rookie contract (in terms of his base salary and signing bonus terms) it was going to be a cap killer! No amount of deferring payments is going to save some very important vets! Moreover, that DeCoud resigning is looking more horrid by the day! Good luck with that!!!

Rick Day

July 13th, 2012
7:07 pm

This is going to kill the NFL. Ultimate revenge by the Saints on the other owners. The owners failed to reel in an overzealous commissioner, and now the bar has been set ridiculously high. And Brees is not that young a QB. Can we say “Farve”?

Sports Agents are very happy people tonight. Meanwhile, the cost of NFL has just gone up, again. From the networks to the parking lots. Well played, Saints!

JSS

July 13th, 2012
7:09 pm

Firsttimer

July 13th, 2012
7:17 pm

DOL – you know where this blog is going. Matty noodle arm, Matty melt down, blah, blah, blah. The Saints just paid number one in the league QB money for a maybe number six. QB’s success is measured by SB rings. We all know that. So, automatically Brady, Big Ben, and Eli are more deserving. Now, out of the current QB’s who have one ring; I would take Rodgers or Peyton over Brees. Brees is the beneficiary of Sean Payton’s scheme. SP knew Brees lacked arm strength, so, he designed screens, slants, and quick hitches because he knew after 20 yds. Brees struggles. That was proven in SD where they scheme for a deep vertical passing game. Brees could not deliver the deep toss and Rivers could, so, Rivers took his job. Maybe Drew will be honest with himself and give Sean some of that money. I am sure he can use it this year. As for as Matt Ryan goes, pay him the money when the time comes. I will drink realitycheck’s galss of kool aid for him. You haters need to drop off this blog.

SeenThisB4

July 13th, 2012
7:23 pm

Brees’ salary cap numbers will be $10.4 million, $17.4 million, $18.4 million, $26.4 million and $27.4 million.

Which means boys and girls, the Saints won’t have any salary cap casualities this year, and heck, we can go and sign a few more free agents with the $6 million in savings from the franchise tag figure, plus the 3 million that Vilma is putting up this year! LOL!

Laissea Les Bon Temps Rouler!!!!

Saints R.E.A.M.

July 13th, 2012
7:39 pm

The Bree’s deal means that Matty can chalk up two division losses for each of the next five seasons. It also means Matty can expect a new head coach next year because Smitty will be fired after the birds go 8-8, miss the playoffs and fail to win the division.

Mo

July 13th, 2012
7:40 pm

First things first. Matt Ryan has not broken any records or has he or the Falcons done squat other than to get into a playoff game and get embarrased. He’s a good quartback but not the level of Drew Brees and Peyton Manning(in his heyday).
Next, the Cowboys are a joke. Rome is like a peice of glass even when they play well they do not do it week after week. Romo is just a pretty boy and should concentrate on being a professional golfer.

Bucky Badger

July 13th, 2012
7:54 pm

So much for being a Class Act & taking a “Hometown Discount” or at least making the process less of a distraction from the Team. Nooo! Brees holds out for the Max Contract…affecting Future Contracts for Quarterbacks on other teams. Classy…Not! Talks about the City & Loyalty but acts just the opposite!
Matty Ice “Breakout Season” here we come!

SeenThisB4

July 13th, 2012
7:59 pm

Uh-huh Bucky! I think Drew’s CAP number is less than Ryan’s CAP number this year! You were saying?

Durt E. Byrd

July 13th, 2012
8:05 pm

Funny, all the other quarterbacks mentioned have actually gone to the big dance and won it…

FalconUGAFan

July 13th, 2012
8:07 pm

@Saints fans Behold a lesson in good sportsmanship you are sorely lacking.

Congratulations on signing your QB. Best of luck.

J-MAN

July 13th, 2012
8:09 pm

Nope Brees is gonna make more base salary that Matt Ryan. But all this means is that Ryan and any other QB is about to be a free agent will get a big payday. Brees had a player Rep did do right by the union to protect this players association to get the best deal possible and let the players have some leverage in such a brutal sport.

IceColdATLien

July 13th, 2012
8:10 pm

They’re gonna sit back and see what Ryan does in the new offense and then decide what (or if) to pay him.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 13th, 2012
8:10 pm

If Brees gets $100 million, that should mean Ryan gets significantly less, since Ryan is nowhere near as good as Brees.

SeenThisB4

July 13th, 2012
8:16 pm

@FalconUGAFan: Thanks.

@J-Man: Wrong, Brees’ base salary this year is $3.0 million, with $7.4 prorated signing bonus toward the CAP: Total Cap figure this year: $10.4 million. D-Led says above that Ryan’s base this year is $11 million.

realitycheck

July 13th, 2012
8:17 pm

Firsttimer……….Is this the same flavored kool aid you drank last year? D led’s job is to create excitement for the Falcon fanbase, and you are buying in again, just like you did last year. I commend you on your youthful enthusiasm, but I think you are about to be initiated again. If the Falcons have a great year(including postseason success),I will be the first to congratulate you and admit that I was all wrong. But until that happens, I am no believer in either Matt Ryan or this Falcon squad! BTW, my predictions regarding the Falcons have been pretty darn accurate for several years now. Two years ago, I had 10-6 with no postseason success( 13-3 w/o postseason success), and last year I had 9-7 and no post season success(10-6 w/o postseason success. I haven’t made my prediction for this season yet, but i’m leaning toward 9-7 and another playoff zero, and that’s if they make it.

Mike Franklin

July 13th, 2012
8:38 pm

On something slightly off-topic, I remember when the NFC South was first formed. At that time, the class of the division was the Bucs. Their fans used to come to Falcs boards to troll and flame our fans. But, after the Bucs wilted, they all went away… buh-bye.

I suspect this will be the last off season we see Saints fans trolling our boards…

mark

July 13th, 2012
8:40 pm

no ryan on the top 100 what is wrong man? ryan kalil!? for real?!

John

July 13th, 2012
8:51 pm

The way they frontloaded brees contract and paid him that huge signing bonus, his cap figures with that huge contract are actually lower than matt ryans. Way to go cba, make the cap irrelevant. Guess we can just pay him a huge signing bonus and get his cap figure down to 7-8 mil a year.

Firsttimer

July 13th, 2012
8:58 pm

Congratulations on your picks. I will drink the kool aid every year because I am a Falcons fan. It’s really as simple as that. By the end of the year no one will be talking about Brees or his contract. You know why? You guessed it boys and girls; the falcons will be the talk of the league. As they roll their way toward the success that they’re building for. You see, it takes time to build a winning organization. I look back at going into the 08 season with a rookie head coach and QB attempting to build a franchise that was in ruins. I would not have bet ten cents that four years later the Falcons would have made three playoff appearances. And you people get caught up on them not winning one. If you looked objectively at the big picture then you could see the progress this organization has made. Pretty amazing if you ask me. Soon, multiple SB rings.

Sun Tzu 7

July 13th, 2012
8:59 pm

Bree’s deal means Aaron Rogers is going to get PAID!

It doesn’t mean as much for Ryan until he elevates his game and becomes elite. Maybe it means more guaranteed $$ up front.

Sean Payton Used Cars

July 13th, 2012
9:11 pm

They didn’t even ask me about it,
see ya next year.

Delbert D.

July 13th, 2012
9:16 pm

What’s left in Brees’ tank is not worth anywhere near $100 million. Tom Benson is not planning properly for the future of this team in SoCal. The guy should have sold the team before making that deal.

realitycheck

July 13th, 2012
9:32 pm

Firsttimer……..At least you admitted that you will drink the kool aid every year no matter what. I just think you’re going to be drowning in a pool of disappointment. I caution you to temper your excitement, because the higher you get, the harder the fall. You are probably too young to have already learned that!

Dear Dimitioff

July 13th, 2012
9:40 pm

… still waiting on that explosive Falcon promise.

Dear Dimitrioff

July 13th, 2012
9:42 pm

Can we have an explosive offense and an explosive defense too?

Tired of waiting.

Bird Brain

July 13th, 2012
9:46 pm

Ironic…Brees set the pass record last year by a pass over Lofton. Maybe Matt breaks Brees record this year by a pass over Lofton.

JSS

July 13th, 2012
9:52 pm

(Ledbetter) After covering the Packers all those years, the Rodgers deal should be good to do? They spent years redoing Favre’s deal as hee-hawed between riding mowers and Lambeau turf! Unlike a certain team, they realize they’ve been saving and getting a bargain for quite a while! But after having to pay $8 million this season for him, then they pay the piper!

JSS

July 13th, 2012
9:55 pm

Lofton reacted. it was Weatherspoon who got juked out of his jock by Spourles!

Firsttimer

July 13th, 2012
10:01 pm

realitycheck – You are a little off on my age. You see, I have been a Falcon fan since 66 when Mayor Allen announced with Rankin Smith that Atlanta now had a professional football team. I have lived through some very rough seasons from day one. So surely you can understand knowing the big picture that I can not be disappointed. That’s one of the positives of being a franchise long Falcons fan; after so many miserable seasons you become immune to disappointment. I am truly battle tested. This is the first time in all of those years that my team experienced back-to-back-to-back-to-back winning seasons. How could I be disappointed? This is the first time over all these years that I see progress. One day we will get there and I will be drinking the kool aid as I have all these years. It is easy to be a fan of a winning organization. When you are a true fan of a perennial losing organization, my friend, then you are a proven and tested fan. That’s why I respect the Cubs fans. Go Falcons!

keep it real

July 13th, 2012
10:03 pm

Brees deal should only make a difference for #2 when he becomes an elite qb like Brees. If he doesn’t improve, he should get a pay cut.

Firsttimer

July 13th, 2012
10:12 pm

And BTW, Claude Humphrey and Tommy Nobis should be in the HOF.

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realitycheck

July 13th, 2012
10:33 pm

Firsttimer………I thought by your level of excitement you were probably a twenty something at the oldest. Your writing seems awfully youthful for a grizzled veteran fan. We can just agree to disagree on how the Falcons will do this year……..it’s all good!

Norb Hecker

July 13th, 2012
10:40 pm

…. and the 9-7 Giants
were better than the Brees and Rodgers losers.

SCFalcon

July 13th, 2012
10:42 pm

Hey Firsttimer, do you remember collecting the coke bottle caps with the Falcons pictures on the underside? I had a complete set. I have only been a die hard fan since 1973 thought. Too young to be a charter fan….. But like you said many tough seasons to be a Falcon fan. But that was better than being a fair weather. Anybody can route for a winner. Just ask all the ex-49er fans.

N.O.Stanks

July 13th, 2012
10:45 pm

Seen u sure know a lot about the FALCONS players and contract numbers. Are u sure that you are not a FALCONS fan. I think you might as well be because we are winning the SB this year and it will be with class and it will not be because we are taking cheap shots at the opposing players. It is so sad that when everyone speaks of the Stanks SB title, the term CHEAP SHOT ARTIST will be attached to it. Put an asterisk by that SB and go on your way and stay off our blog. Do the Stanks have a blog, oh I forgot you have to pay money to be on that blog because the goal is to try and HURT as many people feelings as you can…yes I am LMAO right now because you have to admit that was kind of funny

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 13th, 2012
10:54 pm

JSS — I’m sure my man Ted Thompson has a plan!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 13th, 2012
10:56 pm

Mike Franklin – That’s for that historical perspective.