Contract Forecast: Matt Ryan

Contract Forecast: Matt Ryan
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Contract Forecast: Matt Ryan

Heading into the final year of his 6 year $67.5M rookie contract, the Falcons franchise quarterback is in a prime position to cash in a long-term extension. With new deals to colleagues Joe Flacco and Tony Romo, and a pending extension for Aaron Rodgers, the framework has been laid for the two sides. The Falcons saw the consequences of letting the final year of Flaccos' deal play out - as a Super Bowl win cost them millions more in his new deal.

Spotrac breaks down the statistics, and compiles a prediction for the long-term extension soon to come.
Comparable Quarterbacks
Ryan will be 28 years old in May. To generate a prediction the Spotrac team determined that Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, and Joe Flacco were viable targets to use in comparing with Ryan. The key was to locate starting quarterbacks with similar numbers, who signed their second/third big contract around the current age of Ryan. Here's a look at the contracts signed by each.
Player Length Value Avg. Salary Age When Signed
Eli Manning 7 $106.9 million $15,271,429 29
Tony Romo 7 $119.5 million $17,071,429 32
Ben Roethlisberger 8 $102 million $12.75 million 27
Joe Flacco 6 $120.6 million $20.1 million 28
Averages 7 $107,375,000 $17,030,357 29.25
To determine a more likely starting point for our numbers, we'll perform a linear regression of the contract information listed above.

A linear regression is a formula that plots the provided points of data for Length and Value of the contracts, and then generates the best-fit line for those points, resulting in a "slope" value that translates to an average annual salary.

View the list of Top Average Paid Quarterbacks in the NFL
Length Value Avg. Salary (slope)
8 $132,182,313 $16,522,789
Statistical Analyzations
Now let's analyze these players statistically over their careers by showing the averages for Games/Season, Passing Yards/Season, Passing TD/Season, Passing INT/Season, and Completion %/Season.

Then, to assess how well the player was performing prior to signing their respective contract, we'll show the averages of these statistics two years prior to their signing date. This will give us a "Prime Percentage" for each player, providing us with a snapshot for how well that player was performing when the contract was signed in relation to his overall career.
Joe Flacco (BAL) Career/Year 2010-2011 Prime %
Passing Yards/Year3,454 3,616 104%
Passing TD/Year 20 22.5 112%
Passing INT/Year 11.5 11 95%
Comp. %/Year 60.8 60.1 98.8%
Games Per Year151493%
Eli Manning (NYG) Career/Year 2008-2009 Prime %
Passing Yards/Year 3,503 3,629 103%
Passing TD/Year 23.4 24 102.6%
Passing INT/Year 16 12 75%
Comp. %/Year 58.6 61.3 104%
Games Per Year 15 16 106%
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) Career/Year 2006-2007 Prime %
Passing Yards/Year 3,316 3,333 100%
Passing TD/Year 21.2 25 117%
Passing INT/Year 12 17 141%
Comp. %/Year 63.1 62.5 99%
Games Per Year 14 15 107%
Tony Romo (DAL) Career/Year 2011-2012 Prime %
Passing Yards/Year 3,675 4,543 123%
Passing TD/Year 25 29.5 118%
Passing INT/Year 13 14.5 111%
Comp. %/Year 64.7 65.9 101%
Games Per Year 14.1 16 113%
Matt Ryan (ATL) Career/Year 2010-2011 Prime %
Passing Yards/Year 3,791 4,448 117%
Passing TD/Year 25.4 30.5 120%
Passing INT/Year 12 13 108%
Comp. %/Year 62.7 64.5 102%
Games Per Year 15.6 16 102%
Our results here show that for the most part these Quarterbacks showed slight increases in performance prior to signing their contracts. Ryan's 109.8% prime number is one of the better overall percentages, a negotiating factor he'll take advantage of. We'll factor in this extra 10% into our previously determined value.
Guaranteed Money
Ryan has shown the 3 major keys to earning himself a highly guaranteed contract: Wins, Growth, and Durability. A linear regression on the variable contracts used in this analyzation provides us with the percent of money Ryan should receive as true guaranteed with this new extension.
Player Value True Guarantees % Guaranteed
Eli Manning $106,900,000 $35,000,000 32.7%
Tony Romo $119,500,000 $40,000,000 33.54%
Ben Roethlisberger $102,000,000 $33,200,000 32.5%
Joe Flacco $120,600,000 $29,000,000 24%
Adjusted Regression 33.8%
Length of the Contract
Nearly 28, Ryan is setup for a maximum length contract. The average length of our variable contracts was 7, but Ryan's youth adds another 1.25 years mathematically. We'll call it an 8 year deal.

Value of the Contract
Ryan has clearly earned the market maximum - plus incentives based on his last 2 years performance. Adding in 10% more for his two-year statistical prime to our previously deviated value, and setting 33.8% of it as guaranteed value gives us the contract prediction below.
Spotrac's Prediction: 8 years, $145,400,544
Average annual salary $18,175,068, estimated $49 million guaranteed