Sports

Matt Ryan And Kirby Smart Ink Massive Extensions

Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan in action during a playoff  game against the Philadelphia Eagles last season.
Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan in action during a playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles last season.
Credit Matt Rourke / Associated Press

What do Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan and University of Georgia football’s Head Coach have in common? They each signed big extensions.

UGA’s Kirby Smart inked a seven-year, $49 million contract extension. That makes him the fifth highest paid coach in college football. Smart led the Bulldogs to an SEC and Rose Bowl title in just his second year with the team.

They fell short to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2018 College Football National Championship.

Smart wasn’t the only one agreeing to stick around with a Georgia sports team. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan also signed a contract extension to the tune of five years.

His new deal will pay him $30 million a year, with $100 million guaranteed.

Atlanta Sports Analyst I.J. Rosenberg said he thinks Ryan deserves the money, especially after Ryan’s 2016 MVP year.

“I do think that Arthur Blank, the owner, is rewarding him here,” Rosenberg said. “I think that they like the fact that they have a quarterback who people like and that people feel real comfortable with off the field. He’s just a really good human being.”

Ryan’s contract extension makes him the highest paid player in NFL history on a per year basis.

Rosenberg said most of that can be attributed to timing.

“Matt Ryan was the next quarterback up to get the contract,” he said. “More than anything it was his time to sign on the dotted line.”

But with more money, comes higher expectations. Both Ryan and Smart led their teams to championship games, both walked away without a ring.

Rosenberg said, now, they are expected to win.