Rise Up That Salary

Since he came into the league in 2008, Matt Ryan has put together a nice career, but has also faced some questions about his play on the field. When he was drafted, he was replacing a fan favorite and face of the franchise in Michael Vick and had immediate success. I remember his first career pass being a touchdown in his first NFL game. The Falcons have been a playoff team six times since he’s been the team’s quarterback and even led the Falcons to their first NFC Championship for the first time in 18 seasons. Today, the Falcons rewarded him with a new contract that will keep him in Atlanta for the next five seasons. He signed a five-year/$150 million deal and $100 Million of that is guaranteed money.

I remember back in 2009, Tony Dungy broke him down with pure analysis and called him a young Peyton Manning in training. When you’re getting praise from a legendary coach and your name is being mentioned with one of the best ever to play the position. He’s been knocking on that door of the elite quarterback conversation for years and right now, he’s on the outside looking in on my personal list. Some years have been up, some have been down, but when he’s been consistent and has everything going for him, he’s one of the best and for years, we all wondered when he would put it all together. He did just that in 2016 when he had the best season of his career and was awarded the league MVP. He can make all the throws, he can spread the football around to the open receiver which has been his biggest improvement over the last two or three seasons because I remember there were times when he’d force the football to Julio Jones or Roddy White even when they had multiple defenders surrounding them. He makes all the reads on the field now. He gets rid of the ball quicker now than he did in his first four years in the league and he’s more mobile meaning he can move the pocket and make throws on the run and trusts his feet now to keep the play extended. I’ll always remember his 2016-17 postseason and throughout his career, he had always struggled in the playoffs. That season, he beat the Seahawks and Packers in back to back weeks, the two teams that were considered to be the classes of the NFC and that’s what sealed the deal for him to win MVP along without outplaying Aaron Rodgers who’s arguably the best quarterback in the league.

He’s a top ten quarterback and one of the major pieces that makes that Falcons offense run. He’s the franchise leader in touchdown passes and yards with 260 touchdowns and 41,796 yards passing.