By D. Orlando Ledbetter
FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons are putting working on quarterback Matt Ryan’s contract extension on the back burner for a few weeks until the NFL draft is over, according to general manager Thomas Dimitroff.
The draft is set for Thursday through Saturday.
The team has been reducing salaries this offseason in order to work in a new contract for Ryan, who’s posted five consecutive winning seasons and has guided the team to the playoffs in four seasons.
“The situation is, as we’ve mentioned, both parties, we’re in a very comfortable situation,” Dimitroff said. “We are focused on the draft again. After the draft we’ll continue to discuss (Ryan’s contract) and I’m sure both parties, Matt and the Falcons are feeling good about making sure that this gets done at the right time.”
The Falcons have been planning for Ryan’s extension for well-over a year.
He solidified his future in Atlanta by guiding the Falcons to a second NFC South title and the NFC championship game last season.
After the season, the Falcons released veteran running back Michael Turner, defensive end John Abraham and cornerback Dunta Robinson in what they termed as “business” decisions on March 1.
Also, they recently released tackle Tyson Clabo in another “business” decision in order to eventually fit in Ryan’s contract.
Some analysts have projected that Ryan’s deal could land in between $127 million go $138 million range based on the new $120.6 million contract that Baltimore’s Joe Flacco recently signed.
“There is no time frame on it right now and I don’t want to keep you hanging on it, but I feel confident that things are going to be taken care of when the time is proper,” Dimitroff said.