Sources: Falcons’ Ryan first to $30M annually

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Quarterback Matt Ryan has agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Atlanta Falcons, and sources tell ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that the deal will make Ryan the first NFL player to earn $30 million per year.

The deal includes $100 million guaranteed, sources said.

Ryan, who will turn 33 on May 17, was entering the final year of a five-year, $103.75 million extension he signed in July 2013.

Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins set the previous record for average annual salary ($28 million), followed by San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo ($27.5 million) and Detroit’s Matthew Stafford ($27 million).

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said signing Ryan to an extension was the team’s top offseason priority. Owner Arthur Blank told ESPN that Ryan would be “compensated well” after being named NFL MVP and helping the Falcons to the Super Bowl during the 2016 season.

“Matt is getting what he has earned and we all know the marketplace for a great quarterback,” Blank said Thursday. “League revenues are up, club revenues, new stadiums and the players are the heart of the game. They’re the ones on the field and they certainly deserve their fair share.”

Ryan, the No. 3 pick in the 2008 draft out of Boston College, hasn’t missed a start since December 2009.

He owns 20 franchise records and has thrown for more than 4,000 yards in each of the past seven seasons. He reached 40,000 career passing yards in an NFL-record 151 games and holds the league mark with a 64-game streak of 200-plus passing yards.

Ryan has completed 3,630 of 5,593 passes (64.9 percent) for 41,796 yards with 260 touchdowns, 126 interceptions, and a passer rating of 93.4 through 158 career games in 10 seasons. His regular-season record is 95-63. Ryan is 4-6 in the playoffs, with two NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl appearance.

Blank said that Ryan has been “the model face of the franchise, a great leader and he has embraced our values. He has led us on and off the field.”

Not all teams are so lucky.

“You always hope that when you use a high first round draft pick on a quarterback you hope he becomes the next Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Dan Marino but about 50 percent of the quarterbacks taken high don’t pan out,” Blank said.

Right tackle Ryan Schrader called Ryan “the best in the league.”

“I’ve looked up to him my whole career,” he said. “I envy the player, leader, and warrior he is. He will be here to lead us to a Super Bowl victory in the future, no doubt in my mind.”

Blank said that the Falcons selected Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley because “when you have a guy like Matt, you want to build around him.”

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