Matt Ryan Salary: Falcons QB Becomes NFL's First $30m-a-year Player

Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 13, 2018 in Philadelphia. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Matt Ryan will become the first player in the history of the NFL to earn $30 million per year after agreeing a five-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

According to sources quoted by ESPN, the deal includes $100 million guaranteed, which is also a record for the league.

The quarterback, who will turn 33 in two weeks, was in the final 12 months of a five-year deal worth $103.7 million that he penned in 2013 and Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff had previously hinted signing the 2016 MVP was the club's main priority in the off-season.

"Matt is getting what he has earned and we all know the marketplace for a great quarterback," Falcons' owner Arthur Blank was quoted as saying by ESPN. "League revenues are up, club revenues, new stadiums and the players are the heart of the game. They're the ones on the field and they certainly deserve their fair share."

A star quarterback for Boston College, Ryan was the number three overall pick at the 2008 NFL Draft, becoming an automatic starter for the Falcons from his rookie season and proving himself as an incredibly reliable option—he has only missed two regular season games in 10 years and none since 2009.

"You always hope that when you use a high first round draft pick on a quarterback, you hope he becomes the next Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Dan Marino, but about 50 percent of the quarterbacks taken high don't pan out," Blank added.

The Pennsylvania native has thrown for over 4,000 yards in each of the last seven seasons and reached the 40,000 passing yards milestone in 151 games, an NFL record. Ryan also holds 20 franchise records and the NFL record for the number of games with 200 or more passing yards.

In 2016, Ryan recorded career-high figures in passing yards, touchdowns, yards per attempt and completion percentage as the Falcons stormed to the Super Bowl for only the second time in their history.

The performances earned the quarterback the MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards but the season ended in disappointment as the Falcons squandered a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl, losing 34-28 in overtime to the New England Patriots.

The market for quarterbacks has changed dramatically since Jimmy Garoppolo signed a $27.5 million-a-year deal in October 2017 when he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers. Kirk Cousins signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings in March, which temporarily set the record for average annual salary. Cousins will get an average salary of $28 million per year as part of a deal that guarantees him $84 million.

Aaron Rodgers could be the next quarterback in line for a bumper pay rise. The Green Bay Packers star signed a five-year deal worth $110 million in 2013, but while his contract included a $33 million signing bonus, the 34-year-old will only earn $20.5 million and $21.1 million over the next two years and is expected to look for figures matching those of some of his counterparts.