Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the midst of negotiating his new contract and it should top Ryan’s.
“It’s strong,” Brandt said of Ryan’s deal. “It’s $94 million over three (years). It kind of brings the new average up. It’s going to be the one that’s talked about until Aaron’s. But I did wonder if he’s going to get a fourth year guaranteed.”
Falcons owner Arthur Blank wanted to make sure the team took care of Ryan, but he also wanted to maintain some salary-cap room and flexibility to put a team around the star quarterback.
“Listen, it’s a cop out if a team says it can’t afford to build a team around a franchise quarterback,” Brandt said. “It just depends how you structure it. If he’s making $30 (million) a year, what’s the cap hit? Have they managed the cap so that it doesn’t all back up? The cap is like $170 (million) something -- (actually $177 million) -- you should be able to pay your most important player that.”
The salary cap has been rising with the proliferation of the quarterback salaries.
“In terms of how fast it’s going up, I did the first $100 million contract for Brett Favre at $10 million a year and that was 2001,” Brandt said. “So, now 17 years later, it’s $30 million a year. So, it’s gone up about a million point something a year.”
With the new deal, Ryan’s cap number went from $21.65 million to $17.7 million, freeing $3.95 million of additional cap room, according to Joel Corry, a NFL business analyst for CBS Sports.
So, with $1.3 million of salary-cap space, plus the $3.95 million from Ryan’s deal and the $3.5 million they pick up from the post-June 1 designation on released tight end Levine Toliolo, the Falcons will be at $8.75 million under the salary cap.