FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The most prolific quarterback in Atlanta Falcons history has a new contract.
Matt Ryan, 32, agreed to terms on a 5-year contract extension with the Falcons on Thursday. According to a report by ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Ryan's contract will make him the first NFL quarterback to earn $30 million per year, and his contract has $100 million guaranteed.
The contract extension keeps Ryan with the franchise that drafted him third overall in the 2008 NFL Draft, maintaining the stability that he has helped bring to the Falcons.
Since his arrival in Atlanta in 2008, Ryan has established himself as one of the game's premier quarterbacks.
Ryan has thrown for 41,796 yards during his career with 260 yards and 126 interceptions while completing nearly 65 percent of his passes, holding the franchise record in nearly every major career passing category.
More important than the raw numbers, however, is the impact that Ryan has had on the perception of the franchise. Not only did he become the first Falcons player to win the NFL's MVP Award during the 2016 season, but he has helped guide Atlanta to 95 wins since 2008, tied with the Saints for the fourth-most in that time.
Only the Patriots, Steelers and Packers have more wins during that stretch.
During his MVP season, Ryan led the Falcons to just their second Super Bowl berth in franchise history and directed an offense that averaged 33.8 points per game, the seventh-most in NFL history.
That year he put up career and franchise numbers in nearly every statistical passing category including: passing yards (4,944), passing touchdowns (38), passer rating (117.1), and completion percentage (69.9). His 9.3 yards per attempt were also the highest recorded in the NFL since 2000, when Rams quarterback Kurt Warner averaged 9.9. Finally, the MVP's 117.1 passer rating in 2016 led the league and was the fifth highest all-time passer rating.
Ryan is currently seventh among all active quarterbacks in career passing yards and eighth in passing touchdowns. He is 16th in career passing yards among all quarterbacks in NFL history, surpassing Hall of Famer Joe Montana earlier this season, and 18th in career passing touchdowns.
In the fourth quarter of games, Ryan has lived up to his "Matty Ice" nickname. His 27 fourth-quarter comeback drives are the fifth-most of any active quarterback and 13th-most in NFL history. Now that the Falcons have their franchise leader signed to a contract extension, they will continue to address any other needs they have identified in hopes of making a return trip to the Super Bowl for the second time in three seasons.