Falcons owner Arthur Blank said there is no timetable for a new deal to get done with quarterback Matt Ryan and he’s not concerned about negotiations.
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Arthur Blank: ‘no need to worry’ about Matt Ryan contract talks

Arthur Blank said Tuesday via email that there is no timetable for getting a deal done with Ryan, who is entering the final year of his contact.

“The most direct and honest answer is: no need to worry, good conversations are happening, they are positive and there’s no timetable for this,” the Falcons’ owner wrote.

Ryan is scheduled to earn $19.250 million in base salary this season. The Falcons missed their window to close a deal for an extension that might have lowered Ryan’s salary-cap figure before the start of free agency. The fact that a contract has not been finalized yet does not mean a deal won’t get done, but it could make things problematic down the road.

Quarterback Matt Ryan has set more than 20 Falcons franchise records. Here are just some: Games by a quarterback: 158 Wins by a quarterback: 95 Yards (career): 41,796; Yards (season) 4,944; Yards (game): 503 Attempts (career): 5,593; Attempts (season): 651 Completions (career): 3,630; Completions (season): 439 Percentage (career): 64.9; Percentage (season): 69.9; Percentage (game): 87.5 Touchdowns (career): 260; Touchdowns (season): 38 Fourth-quarter comebacks (career): 26 Game-winning drives (career): 35

Some scenarios;
-- An extension is negotiated before the NFL draft (April 26-28) or shortly thereafter: This would give the Falcons an idea of their budget before having to sign their draft picks and for the remainder of free agency.

-- A deal is signed during training camp or into the season: This would at least give the Falcons some sense of salary-cap ramifications moving forward, as they begin project negotiations with Jake Matthews, Grady Jarrett, Tevin Coleman, Ricardo Allen and others who can become unrestricted free agents in 2019.

-- A deal isn’t signed before the 2019 season: The Falcons theoretically could still put the franchise tag on Ryan for the 2019 and even the 2020 seasons. But that would lead to more salary-cap problems and potentially could create friction between the two sides.

The Falcons never were going to be major free-agent shoppers this offseason. So while it’s not good that a deal hasn’t been done yet, Blank is correct in saying it’s not a major issue yet.

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz
Jeff Schultz
Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.