ATLANTA (AP) - For the second time in eight years, the Atlanta Falcons opened the vault and dropped a ton of cash on a franchise quarterback.
Matt Ryan, the No. 3 pick in last month's draft, signed a $72 million, six-year contract Tuesday. The announcement of the new deal came with smiles, confident talk of the future and no mention of Michael Vick, the first pick in 2001 who signed a $130 million extension, the richest in the league at the time, in December 2005.
Vick last year began a 23-month prison sentence after he confessed to bankrolling a dogfighting ring.
Blank and the Falcons were especially eager to sign Ryan, avoid a holdout and help the franchise move away from the Vick era.