$30 million man: Matt Ryan's deal no surprise; now he must deliver

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Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan becoming the highest-paid player in the league -- at least for now -- shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

When Ryan put together his MVP season in 2016, buy cheap authentic nfl jerseys owner Arthur Blank made it clear Ryan would be rewarded for putting the Falcons in position to win a Super Bowl. The Falcons ultimately fell short, losing to the New England Patriots.

"He needs to be compensated well, certainly," Blank told ESPN prior that season's Super Bowl. "And he will be."

As of today, Ryan is the league's highest-paid player thanks to a five-year contract extension ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported is worth $30 million per year and $100 million guaranteed. He tops other quarterbacks such as Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco 49ers) and Kirk Cousins (Minnesota Vikings), who don't have as many postseason wins combined as Ryan.

Ryan's deal likely will be surpassed by Aaron Rodgers when he and the Green Bay Packers reach a deal on an extension. Whatever the case, the Falcons certainly believe Ryan is the guy who will lead them back to the Super Bowl.37

Ryan, who turns 33 two weeks from Thursday, has a 4-6 all-time playoff record. Critics say he is a tad below the elite quarterback level which includes the likes of Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Rodgers because Ryan has yet to win a Super Bowl. Being close doesn't count when you consider Ryan and the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in their Super Bowl loss to the Patriots.

The Falcons firmly believe Ryan has what it takes to not only get the Falcons back to the Super Bowl, but bring back a championship. The offense wasn't as dominant last season as it was during the Super Bowl run under Kyle Shanahan, now the head coach in San Francisco. discount nfl jerseys However, the Falcons expect a big jump for Ryan and the rest of his teammates in Year 2 of Steve Sarkisian's offense. As Ryan has said repeatedly, it's all about finding consistency.

Arming Ryan with new weapons should help. The Falcons drafted wide receiver Calvin Ridley in the first round with hopes his speed and sharp route running will complement Julio Jones. Of course, the Falcons have the talented backfield tandem of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, with rookie Ito Smith now added to the mix. And the addition of a true blocking fullback -- either Daniel Marx from Stanford or Luke McNitt -- could help the running and passing games alike.

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