The Big Game is drawing near, slated to kick off at 5:30 pm CT/6:30 pm ET in Houston, Texas, and features the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. While we will have a subsequent post on the Patriots’ financials/player contracts, let’s first take a look at the Atlanta Falcons.

Brief History

  • Super Bowl appearances: 2 (1998, 2017)
  • Super Bowl titles: 0
  • Owner: Arthur Blank (2002-Present)
  • Head Coach: Dan Quinn (2015-Present)
  • General Manager: Thomas Dimitroff (2008-Present)
    • Dimitroff was previously employed by the Patriots (2002-2007), serving as National Scout and Director of College Scouting.

It has been quite a decade for the Falcons organization — from the Bobby Petrino and Jim Mora fiasco to Mike Vick’s dog fighting conviction and everything in between. However, QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones have proved to be constant bright spots since then, and their performances this season exemplify that. It should come as no surprise, then, that Ryan and Jones find themselves atop of the Falcons’ earning list in all of the major categories.



2016 Base Salaries

  1. QB Matt Ryan – $15.75MM
  2. WR Julio Jones – $9.5MM
  3. DE Tyson Jackson – $4.25MM
  4. G Andy Levitre – $4MM
  5. RT Ryan Schrader – $2.553MM
  6. ILB Paul Worrilow – $2.553MM

Average Salary

  1. M. Ryan – $20.75MM
  2. J. Jones – $14.25MM
  3. CB Robert Alford – $9.5MM
  4. C Alex Mack – $9MM
  5. A. Levitre – $7.8MM

Guaranteed $$

  1. J. Jones – $47M
  2. M. Ryan – $42MM
  3. A. Mack – $28.5MM
  4. R. Alford – $21MM
  5. LT Jake Matthews – $16.43MM

Estimated Career Earnings

  1. M. Ryan (9 seasons): $133,707,925
  2. OLB Dwight Freeney (15 seasons): $97,645,940
  3. QB Matt Schaub (13 seasons): $82,555,000
  4. J. Jones (6 seasons): $51,709,579
  5. DE Tyson Jackson (8 seasons): $50,946,592

Notable Free Agents

  1. WR Taylor Gabriel
    • 2016 Base Salary: $600K
    • *Note: Gabriel originally signed a 3-year, $1.53MM deal with the Cleveland Browns in 2014 as undrafted free agent but was released by the team in September 2016. Atlanta, then, claimed the Texas native off waivers.
  2. DT Jonathan Babineaux
    • ’16 Base Salary: $1.25MM
  3. TE Jacob Tamme
    • ’16 Base Salary: $1.9MM
    • *Note: Tamme was placed on injured reserve earlier this season. “Players who are sent to injured reserve by a club receive their full salary unless they signed a ‘split contract,'” per
  4. M. Schaub
    • ’16 Base Salary: $1.25MM
  5. TE Levine Toilolo
    • ’16 Base Salary: $1.671MM

       Odds & Ends

Even though running back Devonta Freeman is still on his rookie deal, Freeman and his agent are reportedly seeking a contract extension this offseason. A 2014 fourth round selection, the former Florida State running back is set to make $690,000 in 2017 and, assuming a contract extension is not reached, will become an unrestricted free agent in 2018.

Additionally, while Matt Ryan’s current deal will not expire until 2019, it appears that he may also be the beneficiary of a contract extension.

Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff said during Super Bowl week that he anticipates contract talks “will be on our radar sometime in the near future” and owner Arthur Blank said Friday that Ryan “needs to be compensated well and he will be.”

Source: ProFootballTalk

Contract figures are courtesy of spotrac