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NFL: Ryan and Falcons agree on 6 years, $72 million

The signing paves the way for the Penn Charter grad to try to be the starting QB.

Matt Ryan signed a $72 million, six-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons yesterday, ending concerns that prolonged negotiations could threaten his chance to become the starting quarterback as a rookie.

Ryan, the No. 3 overall pick in last month's draft out of Boston College, is guaranteed $34.75 million.

The Falcons confirmed the signing.

The 6-foot-5 Penn Charter graduate ranked third in the nation with his school-record 4,507 yards passing in 2007 and was the first quarterback taken in the draft.

Contract cut short.

NFL owners voted unanimously to end their agreement with the players' union in 2011, two years before the deal was to expire.

The league emphasized that it will continue to negotiate with the NFL Players Association and said games will be played "without threat of interruption for at least the next three seasons."

The owners had until Nov. 8 to opt out of the agreement, a provision written into the deal when it was signed in March 2006.

The final year of the contract will be played without a salary cap.

Hoosiers get Supe.

Indianapolis has been awarded the 2012 Super Bowl, the fourth time a cold-weather city will host the game.


Oakland released safety Stuart Schweigert, cutting ties with a former starter who lost his job late last season, and linebacker Akbar Gbaja-Biamila.


Dallas signed running back Marion Barber and cornerback Terence Newman to long-term extensions that total about $95 million.

Newman's deal is a six-year extension worth more than $50 million, with a $12 million signing bonus and $22.5 million guaranteed over the first three years. Barber received a $45 million, seven-year deal with $16 million guaranteed. It's worth $21 million over the first three years.


Owner Chip Rosenbloom issued a statement denying a report by Yahoo Sports that the team was on the market and being shopped for up to $900 million, with the possibility of a return to Los Angeles.


New Orleans Saints defensive end Charles Grant has been indicted on a charge of involuntary manslaughter stemming from a February altercation at a nightclub in Blakely, Ga.

Grant, who was stabbed in the neck during the fracas, was charged by an Early County grand jury that also charged Laquient Macklin with felony murder and feticide, the death of a fetus, in the shooting death of Korynda Reed, 23. Reed died after being taken to the Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan, after the fight early Feb. 3.

The indictment was posted on the Web site of the Early County News.