Field Yates of ESPN broke Tuesday morning that the Falcons have created $7M in 2019 cap space by converting $8.75M of Matt Ryan’s base salary into a signing bonus.
The Falcons created $7M in cap space by converting $8.75M of QB Matt Ryan's base salary in 2019 into a signing bonus, per source. Wiggle room for Atlanta.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 12, 2019
Ryan’s scheduled cap-hit for next season was projected to be $22.8 million, according to Spotrac, but is now only $15.8 million after the move.
The adjustment to Ryan’s contract doubles the amount of money the Falcons have to spend this offseason. Per Over The Cap, Atlanta entered free agency with the fourth least amount of cap space this offseason at $6.8M.
Here are the teams we estimate with the least cap space (and again these are fluid)
10. Dolphins- $17.1M
9. Panthers- $17M
8. Redskins- $17M
7. Steelers- $12.1M
6. Saints- $10.3M
5. Chiefs- $10.1M
4. Falcons- $6.8M
3. Vikings- $5M
2. Bucs- $3.1M
1. Jaguars- $2.6M
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) March 8, 2019
They now have $13.8M and have some options at their disposal to create more. Ryan Schraeder, Brandon Fusco, among others could be asked to restructure their deals or cut altogether.
With their improved cap space, the Falcons will be looking to strengthen their offensive and defensive lines and perhaps even add to their secondary. Vaughn Mcclure of ESPN says the Falcons have interest in bringing back Bruce Irvin. The team has also been linked to OT Kevin Pamphile and safety Eric Weddle – who signed with the Rams.