The Falcons and star quarterback Matt Ryan signed a five-year extension including a record-breaking $100 million in guaranteed money. The deal could pay up to $30 million per year, which would put the total potential payout at $150 million. It was officially announced Friday.
Ryan, a four-time Pro Bowler, had just one year remaining on his current contract. He could’ve hit free agency in the summer of 2019 with countless suitors, but the Falcons convinced him to stay with a lucrative offer that includes the most guaranteed money ever given to an NFL player.
The move comes after Kirk Cousins landed a fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million contract from the Vikings during the offseason. Ryan is widely considered even better than Cousins, so while he’s a few years older, it’s possible he could’ve commanded even more money per year if he had hit the open market.
With that said, Ryan’s contract immediately puts him at the top of the class for NFL players. The previous largest guarantee for an NFL contract was $92 million to the Lions’ Matthew Stafford. Andrew Luck ($87 million) and Cousins are the only two other players to top $80 million in guarantees.