The 34-year-old goaltender

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    chenyan94
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    Matt Ryan pulled out his secret weapons to seal the five-year contract extension that made him the NFL’s highest-paid player.

    Ryan brought his infant twin boys http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/josh-jackson-jersey , Marshall and John, to Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank’s office on Friday, when the deal was signed.

    “Tough negotiators,” a smiling Ryan said Monday.

    The twins, born on April 8 following a complicated pregnancy for Ryan’s wife, Sarah, and the new contract are reasons for Ryan to have an optimistic new focus on his future.

    The extension announced on Thursday is worth at least $100 million , a league record, and could be worth as much as $150 million.

    Ryan has been the figurehead of the Falcons during their most successful 10-year run in franchise history. He says he sees the contract as an incentive for the future instead of a reward for leading the team to six playoff seasons, including the Super Bowl run in 2016, when he was named NFL MVP.

    “We’ve had some really good teams,” Ryan said. “But I think the best is in front of us and that’s what has me so excited about my future here and our future as an organization, that we have a lot of really good pieces in place.”

    Ryan said when he was drafted in 2008 it was his hope “to be the quarterback that a franchise leans on for a long time, 15, 20 years. That’s kind of still where my head is at.”

    Before the extension, Ryan, who turns 33 on May 17, could have been a free agent after the 2018 season.

    The threat of Ryan entering free agency could have been the biggest story of training camp. That was a distraction Ryan and the Falcons were eager to avoid.

    Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff described the extension as “our primary focus this offseason.”

    Now Ryan can focus on football instead of finances as he prepares for the 2018 season.

    “I’m happy with the timing of it,” Ryan said. “I think the organization is very happy with the timing of it. Certainly when we get back to training camp it’s 100 percent about football. … I always felt confident it was going to get done in a smooth way and in a timely manner and I feel like it did.”

    There was little question the Falcons would keep Ryan, who has helped to reshape the perception of the franchise.

    Before the Ryan era Justin Bethel Color Rush Jersey , the Falcons had only eight playoff seasons in 42 years, and none in back-to-back years. With Ryan, the Falcons have made the playoffs in six of 10 years, including the 2016 Super Bowl run.

    The contract extension brings continued stability for an offense that also returns wide receivers Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu and running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Dimitroff gave the offense a boost by making wide receiver Calvin Ridley its first-round draft pick last month.

    Like Jones, Ridley is from Alabama.

    “I guess I’m an honorary Alabama quarterback now,” Ryan said. “… I’m very excited about Calvin coming here.”

    Ryan’s new deal topped the total compensation of the $84 million, three-year guaranteed deal that quarterback Kirk Cousins received from the Minnesota Vikings.

    Someday, Ryan will be able to show his twins a photo taken by the Falcons of the day they were in the room when he signed the extension.

    “It was a special day for our family,” he said. “I was excited that they were there. That will always be a great memory for us but also a really cool picture for me to be able to show them when they get older. They won’t remember it, but I’ll tell them I was OK at one point.”

    The NHL’s best rarely make it to free agency.

    Teams tend to re-sign their top players, keeping them off the market and on their rosters. That leaves a slew of solid veterans and journeymen available to the highest bidders trying to find a forward to play on a second or third line, a defenseman to be in a second pairing or perhaps a backup goaltender.

    John Tavares this year is considered a top target, assuming the New York Islanders and their new leaders can’t persuade the 27-year-old center to stay with the franchise that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2009. He had 84 points last season, two shy of his career high.

    Trying to show Tavares how serious they are about winning, the Islanders hired Stanley Cup-winning coach Barry Trotz and Stanley Cup-winning president of hockey operations Lou Lamoriello. New York can sign Tavares to an eight-year contract, too, one year more than any other team in the league can give him. The Islanders can invest $80-plus million to help convince their franchise star to stay.

    Tavares, though, may want to take his two-way talents elsewhere because he has made it to the playoffs just three times in his nine-year career, advancing only once. If the five-time All-Star chooses to leave Youth Jaleel Scott Jersey , he has plenty of choices. Toronto, Boston, San Jose, Dallas and Tampa Bay are believed to be among his options. Tavares can command a seven-year contract for perhaps more than $70 million from any of the teams trying to lure him away from the Islanders.

    Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said the Tavares situation is holding back other free agents, not knowing how high he will set the bar for salaries, and delaying trades.

    ”I think it’s holding up the hockey world a certain amount,” Hextall said Friday.

    Some other names to watch ahead of free agency, which begins Sunday:

    JAMES VAN RIEMSDYK

    The Maple Leafs would love to keep him at the right price, but they might have to let him go to potentially to have enough money to bring Tavares back home. The 29-year-old winger had a career-high 36 goals last season, his sixth in Toronto and ninth in the league.

    DAVID PERRON

    The 30-year-old winger picked a good time to have a career year, with a career-high 50 assists and 66 points with the Vegas Golden Knights. He added nine point during their postseason run.

    JAMES NEAL

    The three-time All-Star had a career-high 11 postseason points during the Vegas run to the Stanley Cup Final. The 30-year-old winger keeps himself in great shape and leads on and off the ice.

    PAUL STASTNY

    The 32-year-old center had a career-high 15 playoff points, helping the Winnipeg Jets reach the Western Conference final. The one-time All-Star would be a solid Plan B for teams that whiff on their shot to sign Tavares.

    MIKE GREEN

    With Washington keeping John Carlson off the market, the 32-year-old Green may be the best defenseman available. Green had a neck injury last season in Detroit and that may concern some teams.

    MICHAEL GRABNER

    The 30-year-old winger finished with 27 goals last year to rank third among potential unrestricted free agents. He had only two for New Jersey in the final 21 games.

    TYLER BOZAK

    The 32-year-old Bozak has spent his entire career with the Maple Leafs, who may not be able to afford the solid center with 365 career points.

    JOE THORNTON

    Teams may hesitate to sign Thornton, coming off knee surgery with his 39th birthday on Tuesday, but the center with great hands could be a great fit for a contending team looking to add depth and a veteran presence.

    DAN HAMHUIS

    With slim pickings on the blue line, the 35-year-old defenseman will be in demand after missing a total of just five games the last two seasons in Dallas.

    CAM WARD

    The 34-year-old goaltender won 23 games last season, the most of any potential unrestricted free agent, despite playing for the lowly Carolina Hurricanes.

    AP Sports Writer Dan Gelston in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

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