Since being drafted as the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, Matt Ryan has made the Atlanta Falcons a team to reckon with in the NFL, leading them to consecutive seasons of winning 10 games or more, and three straight seasons in which they didn't lose two consecutive regular season games.
Not only has Ryan benefited the team, but he's also benefited himself stats-wise. His performance has improved year-by-year, resulting in his eventual move up to the top 10 among quarterbacks. In 2008, Ryan was ranked 11th among quarterbacks; in 2009, Ryan was ranked 20th; in 2010, Ryan was again ranked 11th; in 2011, Ryan was ranked 10th, and, just last season, 2012, Ryan was ranked 5th.
"Matty Ice" as some choose to call him, has proven that he can be an elite quarterback as shown in his latest seasons with the Atlanta Falcons; the Atlanta Falcons were arguably a top-three ranked offense in the 2012 season.
Matt Ryan has also shown that when surrounded with the right talent, he can prosper, but does this mean he deserves his recent five-year, $103.75 million contract? There's no question in mind that Ryan has been a huge benefitial part of the Atlanta Falcons' success, yet some fans feel that Matty Ice may be getting overpaid.
Over the course of five seasons, Ryan's success in the postseason was a controversial playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks. Atlanta's kicker, Matt Bryant lined up to kick a field goal that would win the game, yet the Seattle Seahawks' head coach called a timeout before the kick; Bryant kicked the ball anyways, and the ball sailed right of the goal post. The Atlanta Falcons were given another chance to kick the ball, and this time, Bryant made it, winning the game, 30-28.
When you look at the Atlanta Falcons' roster, you have two of the league's best receivers, Julio Jones and Roddy White. You also have a top-five tight end who is a sure hall of famer, Tony Gonzalez. When you surround a decent quarterback with veteran, superstar talent, this almost guarantees success BEYOND the regular season, which may be the reason NFL fans feel Ryan is overpaid.
By giving Matt Ryan a $103.75 million contract over the course of five years, this means that you're putting him in the same discussion as Manning, Brady, or Rodgers, who all three have Super Bowl rings.
Is Ryan ready to live up to that potential?