Atlanta just committed $72 million over 6 years to the #3 overall pick, $34.75 million of which is guaranteed. That’s quite a lot of currency to toss at a guy that’s yet to throw a competitive professional pass, but then I guess that’s the way things fly these days. The Raiders gave Jamarcus Russell $32 million guaranteed last year, though he went #1 overall. Still, I have to wonder: Is Ryan simply Arthur Blank’s and the Falcons’ rebound after the devastating Mike Vick breakup? Either way, somewhere Tom Condon is smiling.
I’m open to the concept of Matt Ryan becoming a franchise caliber QB for the Falcons, I’m just not totally convinced by it. Fortunately for Matt, I have absolutely no role whatsoever in the Falcons’ general management. I mean, I know he’s got all the tools (just like Ryan Leaf and Tim Couch), it’s the stats that concern me.
I guess I just didn’t expect franchise QB’s to look like this on paper. Don’t get me wrong, I obviously don’t think 31 TD’s and over 4,500 yards as a Senior in the ACC, albeit a relatively down ACC, is anything to scoff at. But what about those 19 Int’s? Or the fact that two of his worst games statistically came against UMass and a 5-7 N.C. State? I have no doubt Matt Ryan is an NFL QB, but the QB for your franchise? The “Face of the Falcons” descision, and subsequent $34.75 in guaranteed money, is just a bit of an enigma to me, and it will be interesting to see if this relationship leaves Atlanta with yet another broken heart. Time will tell, and I guess I wouldn’t be shocked if Ryan proves me wrong, but please don’t hold your breath (I know I won’t be).
Another big winner in this monster deal? How about Super Agent Tom Condon. Last time I checked, the standard agent’s fee in the NFL was 3%. That’s a nice little guaranteed pay day for Mr. Condon, and don’t forget he’ll be getting 3% of the non-guaranteed money as well (assuming Ryan doesn’t get cut within the next 6 years). Condon also handled #1 pick Jake “Banana Hands” Long’s deal with the Phins. Long landed $30 million guaranteed in a 5 year, 57.5 million deal to help pad Condon’s coffers (Tom will of course end up making more off his clients’ endorsements than his 3% agent’s fee). So yeah, I wish I was a connected sports agent, but happy to know I don’t have to glad hand Jake Long on a regular basis.