ATLANTA – Falcons head coach Mike Smith, during a press conference to announce the signing of QB Matt Ryan to a five-year, $103.75 million contract extension, used the phrase “yes, seriously” seventeen times while answering questions from skeptical reporters regarding the deal.
“All of us in the Falcons organization feel that Matt is fully deserving of this contract that makes him the second highest paid player in the entire league, and we’re very excited… what? Yes, seriously,” said Smith, in response to a nearby reporter. “Moreover, we’ve guaranteed him a $63 million, three-year payout that is the most in league history and… yes, seriously. Fellas, can you just let me get through this please?”
Ryan, the third overall pick in the 2008 draft, won the first playoff game of his career this past January before losing to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. He has a lifetime QB rating of 90.9, and over the last five seasons has finished 11th, 20th, 11th, 8th, and 5th respectively in that statistic. While those numbers are not terrible, many observers were surprised that the Falcons deemed them worthy of such an enormous deal.
“Yes, seriously, we’re paying him more than Flacco got with his contract extension,” continued Smith, in reference to Baltimore QB Joe Flacco, who has won a playoff game in every season he’s played, and earned MVP honors in February’s Super Bowl. “I mean, not by a lot. Flacco got $52 million guaranteed, while we’re giving Matt $59 million guaranteed, so it’s not that diff…. what? Or for the love of… yes, guys, SERIOUSLY.”