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Details of Matt Ryan’s Extension and the Salary Cap

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Details of Matt Ryan’s Extension and the Salary Cap

ProFootballTalk has released the following details of Matt Ryan’s contract extension based on a source with knowledge of the contract.  It features a $46.5M signing bonus which is prorated at $9.3M over the first 5 years of the contract.  It has a guaranteed $10M option bonus to be paid in 2019 (and prorated at $2.0M per year over years 2 through 6).  There is a $7.5M Roster Bonus in 2022 which is guaranteed (which means it gets prorated at $3.75M for 2022 and 2023).  There is a non-guaranteed $7.5M roster bonus in 2023.  Ryan’s base salaries in 2018, 2019 and 2020 are fully guaranteed, and $5.5M of his $23M 2021 salary is guaranteed.
$94.5M is fully guaranteed at signing, or about 63% fully guaranteed.  There are no offsets in the contract.  The full value at signing is $169.25M over 6 years.  The new money over 5 years does equal $30M AAV.  The full contract over 6 seasons has an AAV of $28.2M.  Note that Ryan had $2.4M in dead money on his old contract that had to be included in the 2018 cap hit.  Here is what the contract would look like:

Ryan showed some flexibility in these negotiations.  His signing bonus is less than Matt Stafford’s $50M.  The parties used a $10M option bonus in 2019 to keep Ryan’s cash flow higher.  The three-year cash flow of $94.5M is record-setting.  The total guaranteed and guaranteed at signing sets new records.  There does not appear to be any fluff in the contract: no incentives, no roster bonuses, no workout bonuses: it looks to be all clean cash.  

Atlanta was only $1.8M under the salary cap for the 2018 season.  Ryan had a scheduled cap hit of $21M.  Under the new deal, Atlanta gains about $4M in cap space for 2018, and his cap is only $22.8M in 2019, when Atlanta will need cap space to re-sign Grady Jarrett, starting LT Jake Matthews, starting LG Levitre, RB Tevin Coleman, and starting SS Ricardo Allen.    
Ryan will cost just 9.99 percent of the cap in 2018.  If the cap increases to $190M in 2019 (just a guess since there is no way to know what it will be), Ryan’s cap number increases to 12 percent of the cap.  His percentage of the cap for 2020 and beyond probably will rise to over 15 percent. By way of comparison, Aaron Rodgers percentage of the cap by year has been as follows:
2013: $11.65M 9.47%
2014: $17.55M 13.2%
2015: $18.25M 12.74%
2016: $19.25M 12.37%
2017: $20.23M 12.11%
2018: $20.80M 11.74%
2019: $21.10M TBD


There are numerous articles noting that no team has ever won a Super Bowl with a quarterback making more than 13.1% of the salary cap. It remains to be seen if that premise holds water.  It seems very likely at any rate that both Ryan and Aaron Rodgers likely will have cap hits in excess of 13.1 percent, and likely in excess of 15%.  Since Ryan’s cap number will be $31.8M in 2020, the salary cap would have to increase to $242.75M, an increase of $65M.  The salary cap would have to reach $261.83M by 2022 to keep Ryan’s cap hit under the 13.1 percent threshold.   


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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (15) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

marpag1's picture

The more I think about QBs and contracts and such, the more I think how embarrassingly desperate the Vikings were .... to guarantee that boatload of money for a good, but not extraordinary, Kirk Cousins. Wow.

croatpackfan's picture

I think Ball is on the ball. Let's hear how Aaron and he make the deal. I think it will be inovative and more team friendly...

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Let us hope so, Croat. Atlanta and Ryan did do the four main things I illustrated in a previous article about how AR's contract might look:

1. The signing bonus is a little lower than one might have thought. In my example, it was a lot less with the option bonus being a lot more.
2. Both used an option bonus starting in year 2 to keep the cash flow up to the player but that is amortized to keep the cap hit spread out.
2a: Atlanta added a 2nd option bonus (designated as a roster bonus) in year 5 and amortized into year 6.
3. Both contracts have 6 years. I dumped $10M in dead money into year 6 while Atlanta put $5.75M in the last year.
4. Both put the large cap hits in 2021, since that year might be uncapped while the parties find out exactly how the new CBA works.

We still have no certainty what AR's demands will look like. For now, add $2M to $4M to each year's cap hit and you'll get $30M to $32M AAV.

croatpackfan's picture

I think your predictions are on solid ground....

flackcatcher's picture

I agree. When I read TGR's article I was stunned. I know the Falcons are counting on the next CBA to cover Ryan's contract, but those numbers are insane by any measure. 13% of total team salary for one player out of a total team roster. As '61 says "Hi partner". Well, the owners did it to themselves, so lets see how they will wiggle themselves out of this.

Savage57's picture

We'll remember 2018 as the year when QB's stopped signing contracts for services and started receiving lifetime endowments.

Lare's picture

Maybe Aaron would accept stock in the team instead of guaranteed cash. I have a couple shares he could have.

Since '61's picture

If Rodgers played for a team with an owner his salary negotiation strategy would be for him to sit at the table and start the conversation with "Hi partner". Then go from there.

When the FA era came to baseball, that is how Mickey Mantle said he would negotiate when he became an FA. Of course he was retired by then, but I would love to see the look on an owners face when a player with generational talent like Rodgers says Hi partner.

Thanks, Since '61

Johnblood27's picture

Nick Foles.

Yeah, I said it.

Generational talent or not, I let go of a franchise ruining proposition.

Many championships have been won by a team without the "best" QB in the league. Indeed, every Lombardi championship was of that type.

Yeah, I said it.

The Super Bowl winning QB hasn't been considered as the best QB in the league at that time in many of the SB's.
RWilson, Flacco, EManning, Brees, Roeslisberger, BJohnson, Dilfer, Warner, Elway(past prime), Rypien, Hostetler, Williams, Simms, McMahon, Plunkett, Theismann

Some who were considered the best QB at the time of their SB win include Brady, PManning(only 1 when considered best), Favre (only 1), Aikman, Young?, Montana. Thats all for SB winning QB's considered the best when they won the SB.

QB's who got their team to SB but lost include Ryan, Newton, RWilson, Karpernick, Roethlisberger, Warner, Grossman, Hasselbeck, McNabb, Delhomme, Gannon, Collins, McNair, Chandler, Bledsoe, O'Donnell, Humphries...

QB's considered the best at the time who lost the SB include Brady, PManning, Favre, Kelly?, Elway, Marino...

It does not take the GOAT to get to, and win, a Super Bowl.

Oppy's picture

people don't usually respond well when you speak truth in the face of long-held sports axioms.

Not only does it not take the GOAT to get to and win a superbowl, but having the GOAT isn't a guarantee of it, and in and of it self should not set the expectation, either. It takes a team effort, circumstance, and a little good fortune to do it.

Great post

Johnblood27's picture

Thanks Oppy.

I am used to just getting 5 or so down votes even if I say the sun will rise in the east. Whats up with that?

worztik's picture

Join the club!!! People don’t like it when “we” make sense!!! I gave you an UP VOTE... FYI... ;~€)

Johnblood27's picture

Thanks W.

I dont care much about thumbs up or down, whats that all about anyways? I should care if someone agrees or disagrees with my opinion? Maybe write a response and stick your thumb.

It just seems stoopid sometimes when a completely sensible statement with no overly positive or negative connotations gets thumbs down.

Makes me completely disregard the whole thumb concept.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

"Generational talent or not, I let go of a franchise ruining proposition."

Upvote, downvote, I suggest you generally ignore them. Though you might consider the above simply a "completely sensible statement," it is one that is probably going to be controversial.

Last December there was a thread about what position we should target in the first round and I wrote QB, which was less than popular.

Johnblood27's picture

I remember that.

I down voted you.


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