This week will be remembered for notable news for big-named quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson. NFL fans can now add Matt Ryan to the mix.
Pro Football Focus’s Brad Spielberger tweeted Friday afternoon that the Falcons are in the process of restructuring quarterback Matt Ryan’s contract.
Spielberger reports the Falcons will owe Ryan $7.5 million in roster bonuses on March 19. The team is attempting to restructure Ryan’s deal because the quarterback will count for about a $48.7 million cap hit this season, which is the largest in the NFL.
Falcons beat writers have yet to confirm the team is close to a restructured deal for the quarterback, but Spielberger stood by his report Friday evening.
Ryan signed a five-year, $150 million contract in 2018. The deal included a $46.5 million signing bonus and $100 million guaranteed.
But the Falcons and Ryan have restructured that contract, which expires after the 2023 season, multiple times.
The details of what this restructured contract could be are not yet known. In all likelihood, the new deal will lower Ryan’s cap hit for the 2022 season but raise it for next year.
That’s not ideal for the Falcons as Ryan turns 37 in May. Even before pushing some of the quarterback’s money into next year, Ryan is on the books to count as a $43.6 million cap hit for the 2023 season.
That’s expensive for any quarterback let alone a signal caller who will be 38.
But Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot, who is attempting to create a competitive roster for 2022 and build for the future, is desperately trying to create more salary cap space to give him the ability to address some of the team’s roster holes in free agency. As of March 11, the Falcons have a little more than $4 million in salary cap space, which is ranked 23rd in the NFL.
Restructuring Ryan’s contract could help the Falcons keep free agents Russell Gage or Cordarrelle Patterson. It could also make adding an elite pass rusher such as Chandler Jones a possibility.