Falke trimmer Ryan’s record high hit down to $ 37 million

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The biggest cap hit in the NFL is about to fall.

The Atlanta Falcons are restructuring quarterback Matt Ryan’s contract and lowering the $ 48,662,500 cap hit he was originally supposed to be on for the 2022 season by $ 12 million, according to the Roster Management System.

The team converted $ 7.5 million of his base salary and a $ 7.5 million guard bonus, originally due next week, into a signature bonus to spread it out over several years, giving Falcons more room to play. Ryan’s new ceiling for 2022 is $ 36,662,500, and his new base salary is $ 8.75 million.

To do this, Falcons added three invalid years from 2024-2026 totaling $ 9 million. Ryan’s dead money for 2022 is now $ 55.525 million.

Atlanta, which was above the pay cap a week ago, now has $ 16,215,670 under the Roster Management System following Ryan’s restructuring and Monday’s suspension of Calvin Ridley for at least the 2022 season for gambling. Ridley’s suspension took $ 11.1 million from Atlanta’s books for this season.

At this month’s NFL combination, Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot acknowledged that some of the team’s massive contracts were “the elephant in space.” Ryan’s contract – specifically the ceiling number – had been one of the biggest topics of conversation for how the Falcons should get below the salary cap.

“It’s a challenge. I would not say it is a problem,” Fontenot said. “I would say it’s a challenge, something we have to deal with.”

This is the fourth year in a row that the Falcons have restructured Ryan’s contract. Ryan is under contract until after the 2023 season, when his cap hit will be $ 46,612,500, but the potential dead money in the deal drops to $ 27,612,500.

Ryan, who turns 37 in May, completed 67 percent of his passes last season for 3,968 yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his first year under coach Arthur Smith. It was the first time since the 2010 season that he threw under 4,000 yards, and only the third time in his career he threw fewer than 21 touchdown passes. Ryan was also fired 40 times last season – for the fourth year in a row he has been fired at least 40 times.

In February, Falcons owner Arthur Blank said the team had thought of a succession plan for Ryan and that those talks had taken place before Smith and Fontenot were hired.

“Let’s make it clear. At some point we need to understand that Father Time gets us all, and at some point we need to make a clear succession plan for the next quarterback,” Blank said in February. “The team in the league that has done it successfully is really in a good position.

“Those who have not are those who have been fighting for a number of years while flipping in and out of quarterbacks, which is not really the ultimate answer.”

By the combination, Smith said they expected Ryan to become part of the Falcons this season, but opened up the possibility of a shift if a team gave Atlanta an offer it could not turn down. Smith has been steadfast in making similar comments since the end of the season about Ryan and his future in Atlanta.

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