Klein reports they took $21 million of Ryan’s base salary in 2021 and converted it to a signing bonus, spreading it over the final three years of his deal and lowering his cap figure from $40.9 million to $26.9 million this year.
This is an interesting move because not only does it clear up a lot of space for Atlanta, helping them get under the cap before the start of the league year on Wednesday, but it also makes it more difficult to move on from Ryan in future seasons.
The Falcons have been linked to a quarterback this year given Ryan’s age and the fact they pick at No. 4 overall.
However, the Falcons had zero considerations of trading Ryan before this season due to the large dead cap hit a move like that would have created. This only adds to that number.
Ryan, 35, is a former first-round pick of the Falcons back in 2008. He was entering the final year of his six-year, $103.75 million contract when he agreed to a new five-year, $150 million extension with the Falcons in 2018 that included $100 million guaranteed.
Ryan will make base salaries of $2 million and $16.25 million the next two seasons.
In 2020, Ryan started all 16 games for the Falcons and completed 65 percent of his passes for 4,581 yards, 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.