Falcons GM 'not being kept up at night' by Matt Ryan extension talks

Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff isn't losing sleep over attempting to reach a long-term contract extension with quarterback Matt Ryan.

Dimitroff said once again that things appear to be "close" as he continues discussions with Ryan's agent, Tom Condon. At the same time, no specific timetable has been given for completing the deal.

Dimitroff addressed the situation again Tuesday during a radio interview with Atlanta's 680 The Fan.

"We're not concerned about it; we're not being kept up at night," Dimitroff said of the contract talks. "It still is the No. 1 priority. ... We want to continue to build a team as we're going through this process."

Ryan's current salary-cap figure for 2018 is $21.65 million, a number which could have be lowered significantly had an extension already been agreed upon. Although that appeared to handcuff the Falcons at the start of free agency, all indications were the Falcons weren't going to be overly aggressive anyhow, focusing instead on extending their own players, such as nose tackle Grady Jarrett, left tackle Jake Matthews and free safety Ricardo Allen.

Dimitroff said signing Ryan, 32, to an extension still can be the top priority while taking care of other business on the side. The Falcons' free-agent signings include special-teams ace Justin Bethel, offensive guard Brandon Fusco and blocking tight end Logan Paulsen.

But Dimitroff said getting a deal done with Ryan is still the main focus and classified the talks as productive, just as he did during the NFL combine.

"As we're waiting to get Matt done and we're continuing to work -- and we're working well, again, with his representation, we have good, interactive discussions -- I'm not concerned about it. I'm not kept up at night about it. And it's a priority.

"It remains our primary focus this offseason, and we continue to get closer every day. It can be a lengthy process as you work through a major deal like this, but all of our conversations are productive and continue to move the process forward."

The Falcons are scheduled to begin the offseason program April 16. It will be interesting to see if Ryan is signed by then. Ryan has one year and $19.25 million left on his contract.

Owner Arthur Blank didn't say he would make Ryan the league's highest-paid player, but he did say the 2016 MVP would be in a range competitive to other quarterbacks. Minnesota's Kirk Cousins currently leads the way in terms of average per year at $28 million in a three-year contract. Cousins received $84 million guaranteed, while Detroit's Matthew Stafford received $92 million guaranteed in a five-year deal. Stafford also is represented by Condon. Jimmy Garoppolo will make $27.5 million in base salary in 2018.