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Report: Talks between Matt Ryan, Falcons on hold until after draft

By Matt Rybaltowski | CBSSports.com

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Matt Ryan's rookie contract is set to expire at the end of the 2013 season. (USATSI)

We told you earlier this week about the developments in negotiations between Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions on a contract extension that could exceed $100 million.

While Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers and Stafford are expected to receive extensions before the start of the season, none of the three have yet to agree to a new deal. In Ryan's case, discussions are expected to be put on hold for the time being -- at least until the completion of the NFL Draft next week.

Ryan, 27, is entering the final season of his six-year, $67.5 million rookie contract. Ryan is set to make $12 million in 2013. The Falcons hope to avoid the situation that befell the Ravens in 2012 when Joe Flacco entered the season without a new contract. Flacco signed a six-year, $120.6 million contract with a $29 million signing bonus in March.

"The situation is, as we've mentioned, both parties, we're in a very comfortable situation," Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We are focused on the draft again. After the draft we'll continue to discuss (Ryan's contract) and I'm sure both parties, Matt and the Falcons are feeling good about making sure that this gets done at the right time."

In five seasons with the Falcons, Ryan has 18,957 passing yards and 127 touchdowns. There's a chance Ryan could pass Steve Bartkowski for the Falcons' all-time career marks in both categories this season. In 11 seasons in Atlanta, Bartkowski finished with 23,470 yards and 154 touchdowns. Over the past three seasons, Ryan has averaged 29.6 touchdowns per year.

Ryan's statistics over his first five seasons also compare favorably with Peyton Manning's numbers at the start of his career in Indianapolis. From 1998 through 2002, Manning threw for 20,618 passing yards and 138 touchdowns. Through five seasons, though, Ryan had a higher completion percentage (62.7-62.1) and a better quarterback rating (90.9-85.9) than Manning. Ryan led the Falcons to the playoffs in four of his first five seasons, while Manning reached the playoffs three times in his first five years with the Colts.

The Falcons have released Michael Turner, John Abraham, Dunta Robinson and Tyson Clabo in the offseason in part to make room for a new deal for Ryan. Atlanta is currently $1.73 million under the 2013 salary cap, according to Spotrac.com.

Keep your eye on everything NFL by following Matt Rybaltowski on Twitter @mattrybaltowski.

 
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