Matt Ryan has signed a 5 year contract extension worth around $103.75 million and is expected to make $63 million in his first three years of the contract. This puts Ryan on the same pay scale as Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees, who all hold Super Bowl rings.
Does this put more pressure on the 28 year old quarterback who is only 1-4 in playoff games? Ryan in the press conference yesterday denied those allegations stating:
"The expectations we set for our football team and my personal expectations are higher than any expectation anybody's going to put on you."
This may be true but that still does not deny the fact that the city of Atlanta and all the other Falcon fans out there (including myself) are patiently waiting for that first Lombardi trophy.
Coming off this best season yet where Ryan threw for 4,719 yards and 32 touchdowns, the expectations are set even higher for him this year. Matty Ice is right on the cusp of being considered one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, but in able to solidify this Ryan needs that Super Bowl win.
This season, Matt has a brand new toy to play with the acquisition of Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson. With release of Michael Turner (who fell off the face of the Earth the last two seasons) the Falcons needed a new man in the backfield. Who better to sign than the veteran Jackson who has the most rushing yards out of any active running back?
In acquiring Jackson, this gives Ryan the ability to use the play action more effective. In doing so, this enables play makers such as Julio Jones, Roddy White, and the ageless Tony Gonzalez to get open down field. With the Falcons becoming a more pass oriented offense last year, they look to do that again. Having a future Hall of Fame tight end and having two wide receivers who gained over 1,000 yards last year, Ryan has his options.
So with the new big contract slapped onto Matt Ryan, he does have added pressure. The whole city and Falcons Nation is looking towards him to bring us to the promise land for the 2013 season and beyond.