But you guys act like the threat of injury goes away at some point. The same threat of injury that exists today would still exist two years from now when we were forced to make a move.
You're right, the price probably won't go up a huge degree 2 years from now than it is now, since all of the elite QBs (except Brees) have signed recent contract extensions. Flacco and Schaub are the biggest QB FAs next year. Cutler, Freeman, Romo, Ryan, Sanchez, and McCoy are all FAs after the 2013 season. Then the year after that, you have Kaepernick, Dalton, Tebow, Cassel, Gabbert, Stafford, Rodgers, Newton, Brady, Mallett, Locker, Ponder, and Carson Palmer. In 2016, Rivers, Vick, Eli, Bradford, and Big Ben are the FAs.
What happens if the Packers and Patriots decide to do Rodgers and Brady's deals a year early. Rodgers signed an extension in 2008, with only $20 million guaranteed. Since then, a number of lesser players have doubled that amount of money. He's going to set the market. Behind Bradford & Manning, Brady has the highest amount of guaranteed money in $49M. And while we know Ryan isn't going to match BRady, if Brady signs an extension in 2014 with $60M guaranteed, then it pushes up Ryan's deal.
Now IMO, if the Falcons were trying to re-sign Matt Ryan to a contract today, it would take a deal that had $40-45M in guaranteed money, with the likelihood it's over $42M (to exceed Stafford's rookie deal). There are 2 guys that have guaranteed money of 50+, Peyton Manning: $54.4M, Bradford: $50M. You worry about 2 years from now, there could potentially be more names.
If you can get Matt Ryan today to sign for $42 or $43M guaranteed, then I think it behooves the Falcons to make that deal today. And if you're worried about getting out of the contract, then structure the deal so that there is essentially a 2-year out clause, which is what a lot of teams have been doing. Although in the case of Peyton Manning and McNabb, they were essentially 1-yr. out clauses due to bonuses paid in Year 1.
I know our different viewpoints on this issue stem from our differing viewpoints on Matt Ryan. You guys think he's right on the verge of being an average QB. IMO, Matt Ryan is in a similar boat as Eli Manning a 3-5 years ago. He's not the greatest QB in the league, but the Giants were smart to marry themselves to Eli Manning, not necessarily because they have won 2 championships in the last 4 years, but because since Eli came into the league 7 years ago, there have only been 3 QBs come into the league that are/have been better than him. I think the same will apply to Matt Ryan. 3 years from now, we'll look back over the past 7 years of Ryan's career, and only see a handful of QBs that are better than him. Changing that horse in midstream is a bad move. It paid off for the Giants that now have 2 rings, and I think it could potentially pay off for the Falcons if the coaching staff/front office get their act together.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.