Dec 23, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) passes the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter of the final regular season game at Candlestick Park. Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Ryan is Matty Money

And the highest paid NFL player is … Matt Ryan?

Yes, we Dirty Birds love our Matty Ice, but plenty of us were surprised to read that Ryan is the highest paid NFL athlete per Forbes.

Ryan is 10th on the list, at $43.8 million a year — $42 million in pay and $1.8 million in endorsements. His latest deal paid him a $28 million signing bonus, plus a $12 million option that was paid in May. This begs two questions:

(1) What is Peyton Manning getting paid?

(2) How does he not have more endorsements?

In the top 10, only Floyd Mayweather has less in endorsements, as he apparently endorses nothing. But he boxes like a champ, so he brings in a cool $105 million for that. Everyone else in the top 10 — Tiger, Lebron, Messi — gets a king’s ransom for shilling their name. Matt Ryan? Not so much.

But when you review the list, you realize that Matt Ryan could probably vastly elevate his bank account with some additional advertising face time.

Several others on the list — notably Team Manning — get paid a good bit for their namesake. Peyton (#26 on the list) got $12 million for endorsements and $15.1 million for playing. Eli (#66 on the list) got $7.5 million for endorsements and $13.5 for playing. The only other NFLers on the list who cracked a million on the endorsement side were Matt Stafford, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Larry Fitzgerald. See a trend here? Chiefs tackle Braden Albert (# 91 on the list) has a whopping $35K in endorsements. I hope that $18.4 million in guaranteed money takes the sting off for him.

I’m glad Matt Ryan is locked up for a long-term deal with the Falcons, and I think the investment will pay off. That said, I’m thinking a season NOT like 2013, and Matty Ice might be able to pad the bank account a little more.Matt

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