Big-name quarterback moves have been the hot topic around the NFL in recent days, with both Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz set to be traded at the start of 2022 free agency. One veteran signal-caller appears even more likely to stay put, however, with the Falcons restructuring QB Matt Ryan’s contract, according to PFF’s Brad Spielberger. Atlanta was set to open the offseason with just over $4 million in salary cap space, but Ryan reworking his deal instantly frees up money for the Falcons, while seemingly tying the veteran to Atlanta for at least another season.
It’s unclear exactly how Ryan’s deal has been updated, but typically, restructures create immediate cap space by pushing potential dead-money charges down the road. In this case, that would mean moving money to 2023, the final season of the QB’s contract. Ryan was already widely considered unlikely to be moved because of his lucrative 2022 cap hit ($48.66 million), the largest in the NFL. With the restructure, then, he won’t cost Atlanta as much this year. On the flip side, the Falcons have likely ensured they’ll be in an equally dire financial situation regarding Ryan in 2023, especially if they look to replace him at that time.
Ryan was originally due a $7.5M roster bonus on March 19, per Over the Cap, and was set to cost $43.6M in 2023. He signed his current contract — a five-year, $150M extension — in 2018, but he’s since restructured it multiple times to help the Falcons create cap space.
Atlanta, for what it’s worth, has consistently endorsed Ryan as its QB entering 2022, the veteran’s age-37 season. But coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot have also left the door open for a potential trade, in the scenario another team makes “an offer (they) can’t refuse.” It’s still possible the Falcons could field offers for Ryan this offseason, even after the restructure, but the QB would likely not be nearly as attractive from a financial perspective because of his newly inflated 2023 cap hit.
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