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Thomas Dimitroff on Matt Ryan contract: We 'continue to move the process forward'


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – During a radio interview Tuesday morning on 680 The Fan, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff provided an update on the contract negotiations with quarterback Matt Ryan.

As he has said repeatedly since January, Dimitroff told Brian Finneran, Steak Shapiro and Sandra Golden of the Front Row morning show that getting a new deal in place for Ryan is the team's No. 1 focus of the offseason.

And that hasn't changed.

"We continue to have ongoing dialogue with Matt's representatives on a contract extension," Dimitroff said. "It remains our primary focus this offseason, and we continue to get closer every day. It can be a lengthy process as you work through a major deal like this, but all of our conversations are productive and continue to move the process forward."

Ryan, 32, threw for 4,095 yards with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season. During his 10-year career, he has thrown for 41,796 yards, 260 touchdowns and 126 interceptions in 158 career games.

Just because this is the No. 1 focus for Dimitroff this offseason, it hasn't prevented the Falcons GM from continuing to build Atlanta's roster. The Falcons added three new players in free agency in addition to re-signing their own players, which is key for Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn.

"It can still be the No. 1 priority and we can still do other things on the side, i.e., signing Brandon Fusco, signing Logan Paulsen and others," Dimitroff said. "We want to continue to build the team as we are going through this process. I said it from the very beginning, this is not a complicated process. It becomes a situation where you have to become creative in putting it all together so as we are waiting to get Matt done, and we're continuing to work well with his representation we have good interactive discussions. I'm not concerned about it, I'm not kept up at night about it and it's a priority."

Dimitroff has explained a number of times how the Falcons juxtapose the draft and free agency when it comes to building and player acquisitions. The Falcons have a number of key young players they like keeping that core intact remains central to their overall plan.

"Quite honestly every year since 2008 we've made one strong move in free agency," Dimitroff said. "Some a little more expensive than others. We've always believed in that approach. Not that you couldn't sign two or three. This is a year we're signing a quarterback and he's an elite quarterback in this league. And we have some very important guys on our roster and I cannot stress when you continue to sign your people the message that it sends across the board is really, really big."

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