Start with Falcons owner Arthur Blank. Throw in general manager Thomas Dimitroff. And, oh yeah, Matt Ryan and his agents may be paying closer attention to what Flacco got than anyone else on earth.
Ryan and Flacco have been joined at the hip since they entered the league in 2008. Their careers have had many similarities and it’s a safe bet that Ryan and his representatives will be looking for something similar to what Flacco got.
Blank’s the one who ultimately will have to write the check and Dimitroff’s the one who has to structure the deal (and make sure it keeps enough room for the Falcons to sign other players in future years). The only real argument that Blank and Dimitroff can use is that, unlike Flacco, Ryan hasn’t won a Super Bowl.
But I don’t think the coach and general manager will even go there. The lack of a Super Bowl is a touchy subject for the Falcons and nobody blames Ryan for the fact Atlanta doesn’t have a championship. In fact, Blank and Dimitroff have made it abundantly clear they believe they can win a Super Bowl with Ryan.
They want to sign the quarterback to a long-term contract extension this offseason. The parameters already are in place. They’ll have to pay him like a champion.
They’ll have to pay him like Flacco.