cloudy
Monday August 3rd, 2015 7:29PM

Falcons, Ryan agree on 5-year contract extension

By The Associated Press
FLOWERY BRANCH -- Now that he's wearing a $100 million smile, quarterback Matt Ryan is ready to get back to work for the Atlanta Falcons.

"I've always not worried about the business side of it," Ryan said. "I really think as a player, if you're hung up or worried about that or thinking about all those things, you're taking away from what you should be doing."

Ryan and the Falcons agreed to a five-year contract extension on Thursday that was being finalized as he led the offense through practice on the first day of training camp.

A person familiar with the situation says Ryan's extension is for $103.75 million deal, with $59 million guaranteed. The person said Ryan will average $20.75 million during the first three years of the extension. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the terms of the deal had not been announced.

Ryan, 28, is entering the sixth and final season of his original rookie contract and will earn a $10 million salary.

The NFL's No. 3 overall draft pick of 2008, last season Ryan was invited to the Pro Bowl for the second time. He completed 68.6 percent of his passes, tops in the NFL.

"I'd say right now that we're glad that we didn't go defensive tackle with the third pick back in 2008," general manager Thomas Dimitroff. "I'm excited to have Matt on board for many years to come. Matt provides us with all the requisite traits, on the field as we know, and we feel we does that off the field. He's a quality person."

Ryan rallied Atlanta to victory six times last season, giving him 22 career game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime - most in the league since he was named the league's offensive rookie of the year in 2008.

The quarterback is 56-22 in his NFL career, but dropped to 1-4 in the playoffs after the Falcons lost the NFC title game at home to San Francisco six months ago.

Coach Mike Smith believes that losing those big games has only made Ryan more committed to his work ethic of being one of the first to arrive each day and one of the last to leave.

"Matt is the type of the leader that you want to have on your team," Smith said. "I say it all the time - you win in the locker room first - and you've got to have guys like Matt Ryan that have the drive and the passion to be the best that they can be. That's probably the best trait that Matt has."

Ryan's agent, Tom Condon, also represents Drew Brees and Peyton Manning - veteran NFL quarterbacks who signed big contracts last year. The New Orleans Saints guaranteed Brees $60.5 million and the Denver Broncos guaranteed Manning $58 million.

Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who led the Ravens to a Super Bowl title in February, signed the richest contract in league history, a six-year deal worth $120.6 million that guarantees $52 million.

Flacco had leverage for a better contract because he was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.

Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, the NFL's No. 2 career leading receiver, credited Ryan for being a big reason he wanted to come to Atlanta in 2009 and to be lured out of retirement in March.

"He had a big smile on his face today, I'll tell you that - and for a good reason, too," Gonzalez said with a grin. "But I couldn't be happier for him. He deserves it. The franchise deserves him. I know everybody's happy that it got done, and he doesn't have to worry about it now."
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
Falcons fire offensive, defensive line coaches
The Atlanta Falcons have fired defensive line coach Ray Hamilton and offensive line coaches Pat Hill and Paul Dunn.
7:02PM ( 1 year ago )
Best, worst of Falcons' 4-12 season
Best Game: They'd been eliminated from playoff contention previous week vs. New Orleans, but the Falcons showed some heart with Dec. 1 overtime victory over Bills in Toronto.
6:21PM ( 1 year ago )
Gonzalez's career ends with another Falcons loss
Tony Gonzalez is ready for the next chapter of his life.
9:47PM ( 1 year ago )
Professional Sports
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Delta says it's banning shipment of hunting 'trophies'
Delta Air Lines had a major change of heart about shipping hunting trophies, announcing Monday afternoon that it would no longer accept lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies.
6:34PM ( 55 minutes ago )
Former President Jimmy Carter undergoes liver operation
ATLANTA (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter is expected to make a full recovery after having an operation Monday to remove a small mass in his liver, according to a spokeswoman.Carter Center spokeswo...
5:11PM ( 2 hours ago )
Men charged with rape, false imprisonment near Homer
The Banks County Sheriff's Office has charged three men with rape in connection with an incident that occurred July 28 on Union Hill Road near Homer.
2:00PM ( 5 hours ago )
Auburn man charged in fatal hit-and-run in Buford
An Auburn man faces charges in connection with a fatal hit-and-run accident that killed 24-year-old motorcyclist Scott Mosely.
12:54PM ( 6 hours ago )
Car crashes into Lawrenceville business; driver seriously injured
One person is listed in serious condition after crashing a car through the front of a picture framing business in Lawrenceville Monday morning.
12:33PM ( 6 hours ago )