Falcons rumors: Matt Ryan's contract could hold up Richard Seymour deal

Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE

Atlanta's top priority is working out a new deal for its star quarterback.

The Atlanta Falcons and free agent defensive tackle Richard Seymour haven't been able to agree on a contract, and it's likely because Atlanta has to lock up quarterback Matt Ryan to a new deal first, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

More on the Falcons: The Falcoholic

Seymour is coming off an injury-plagued season in which he only played eight games and compiled 15 tackles, three sacks and one tackle for loss. He made roughly $15 million last season, so he would likely have to take a fairly steep pay cut to sign with the Falcons. While Ryan's new contract won't be cheap -- Ravens QB Joe Flacco set the industry standard at six years and $120.6 million -- it will be structured to free up more cap space in the immediate future, thus allowing Atlanta more room to work with Seymour.

Seymour, who turns 34 in October, has proven himself to be one of the NFL's best defensive tackles over the course of his 12-year career. He's totaled 496 tackles, 57.5 sacks and 40 tackles for loss, earning seven Pro Bowl selections and winning three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots.

If the Falcons ever reach a point where they'll be able to sign Seymour, the team may have an advantage at the negotiating table. Seymour has ties to the area, having played his college football at Georgia, and Atlanta is currently one of the best franchises in the NFL, giving the veteran a chance to win another title.

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