The biggest cap ever in the NFL is falling.
The Atlanta Falcons are restructuring quarterback Matt Ryan’s contract, lowering the $48,662,500 cap he was originally set to be for the 2022 season by $12 million, according to Roster Management System.
The team converted $7.5 million of his base salary and a $7.5 million bonus originally due next week into a signing bonus to spread it out over several years, which will give the Falcons more space to play. is $36,662,500 and his new base salary is $8.75 million.
To do so, the Falcons added three cancelable years from 2024 to 2026 for a total of $9 million. Ryan’s dead money for 2022 is now $55.525 million.
Atlanta, which passed the salary cap a week ago, now has $16,215,670, according to Roster Management System, after Ryan’s restructuring and Calvin Ridley’s Monday suspension for at least the 2022 season for betting on games . this season.
During this month’s NFL Combine, Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot acknowledged that some of the team’s massive contracts were “the elephant in the room.” were going to fall below the salary cap.
“It’s a challenge. I wouldn’t say it’s a problem, Fontenot said. I would say it’s a challenge, something that we have to work around.”
This is the fourth straight year the Falcons have restructured Ryan’s contract Ryan is under contract until after the 2023 season, where his cap will be $46,612,500, but the potential dead money in the deal drops to $27,612. $500.
Ryan, who turns 37 in May, completed 67% of his passes last season for 3,968 yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his first year under Arthur Smith. It was the first time since the 2010 season he was throwing for less than 4,000 yards and It was only the third time in his career that he threw less than 21 touchdown passes. Ryan was also sacked 40 times last season – the fourth year consecutively, he has been sacked at least 40 times.
In February, Falcons owner Arthur Blank said the team considered a succession plan for Ryan and those conversations took place before Smith and Fontenot were hired.
“Let’s be clear. At some point we have to understand that Father Time understands all of us and at some point we have to come up with a clear succession plan for the next quarterback,” Blank said in February. who have done it successfully are really in a good position.
“The ones that haven’t are the ones that struggle for a number of years as they come in and out of quarterbacks that really aren’t the ultimate answer.”
During the combine, Smith said they expect Ryan to join the Falcons this season, but left open the possibility of a move if a team made Atlanta an offer they couldn’t. not refuse. of the season on Ryan and his future in Atlanta.