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Comparing The Deals: Jake Long vs Matt Ryan

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Incase you missed it, the Falcons yesterday reached an agreement with the 3rd overall pick in the draft, Matt Ryan.  And the deal is ridiculous.  It's a 6 year, $72 million deal that includes $34.75 million in guaranteed money.  Yes, that's right.  Matt Ryan is getting $72 million from the Falcons as the #3 overall pick. 

And we wonder why the owners opted out of the current CBA. 

Consider this.  Last season's #1 overall pick, JaMarcus Russell, signed a 6 year, $61 million deal which included $29 million in guarantees (that could increase up to $32 million).  And he had to hold out until September 10 to get that deal.  Matt Ryan, on the other hand, gets a deal that is worth $11 million more in total value and $5 million kore in guaranteed money less than 4 weeks after he was drafted 3rd overall.  Not first.  Third.

Wow.

OK.  Let me take a deep breath before continuing.

Alright.  The point of this post, though, is not to just talk about how amazed I am about this deal the Falcons just handed Ryan.  I think we all need to take a step back for a moment and just talk about what an amazing job Miami's front office did reaching the deal that they did with Jake Long.  Long's deal of 5 years, $57.75 million, which includes $30 million in guaranteed money looks like a steal right now.  Well, relatively speaking, of course.  Remember, Long instantly became the highest paid offensive lineman in the league despite not ever having played a single down. 

Now we don't know exactly how Long's or Ryan's contract breaks down.  However, if you break down the deals to basic yearly averages, the Dolphins did a hell of a job with their deal for Jake.

Yrs Total Guar Total/Yr Guar/Yr
Jake Long 5 $57.75 $30 $11.55 $6
Matt Ryan 6 $72 $34.75 $12 $5.79

So as you can see, the Dolphins are paying the #1 overall pick less money per year than the Falcons are paying the #3 overall pick.  Yes, the Dolphins had to guarantee a little bit more, but that's well worth the long-term benefit that the Dolphins achieved.

Of course, the one downside here is that Long will hit the open market a year earlier.  So let's just hope Jake comes in and excels right from the beginning, meaning the Dolphins would lock him up to a long-term deal before he ever sniffs free agency.

Kudos to the Dolphins' front office!