Next in line sits Matt Ryan, who enters the final year of his contract set to make $19.25 million. While the Atlanta Falcons hope to get a new contract done at some point this summer, general manager Thomas Dimitroff said Wednesday from Georgia's pro day he wouldn't put a timetable on an extension.
"There's no time frame on it right now,'' Dimitroff said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. "I think the biggest thing for [Ryan's representation], at one time, was probably waiting to see what was going on in the market. That's kind of come and gone now, right? So we'll continue to talk about how to get it finalized.''
There was no chance Ryan's agent, Tom Condon, would let him sign a contract until seeing where Cousins reset the market. Now that Cousins got a fully guaranteed contract worth $28 million per season from the Vikings, more decorated veterans can use the benchmark as a starting point. The question is whether Ryan or the Packers' Aaron Rodgers is the next to get their deal done and become the top-paid QB.
"I think all of the market will factor into how we do Matt and how we approach Matt, there's no question about that,'' Dimitroff said. "If I were to state the significance of it, I think it's just a piece of the pie. His representation is looking at it and, of course, we're looking at it through a different lens. We're always mindful that we're aware of everything else. But like I said before, from an analytical standpoint and a statistical standpoint and a financial standpoint, we know that it ultimately comes back to what we're doing with this organization and what we deem as a win-win for both parties.''
Dimitroff deftly toed the discussion on Ryan's next contract, praising the quarterback, but at the same time sounding like he's praying the team can convince the QB to give them a hometown discount.
"As far as the discussions with Matt, again Matt knows what this team is about and he knows what he can do for this team at a number of levels," Dimitroff said. "He knows that he's right up against a third contract in the NFL, and those are big contracts and significant discussion points. And he's very aware of that. And he's aware of everyone on the team being aware of it. He doesn't want to be a distraction. That's him. Ultimately, he's a team guy through and through. Again, hopefully we can move through this and get this done.''
Whenever it gets done, Ryan should sign a contract that leaps Cousins' per-year average. Dimitroff once famously said when a team doesn't have a quarterback "the search for him consumes you." The Falcons have their signal-caller. They'll pay to keep him.