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Although Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez continues to say he’s 95 percent sure he’ll retire after this season, quarterback Matt Ryan would like to see an encore. “I’ve been lobbying the entire season,’’ Ryan said in this radio interview with "Mike & Mike in the Morning." “He’s playing at such a high level that he’s physically capable of coming back." Gonzalez, 36, finished the regular season with 93 catches for 930 yards and eight touchdowns. “But the biggest thing is it’s got to be a good decision for him and his family,’’ Ryan said. “Whatever he decides I’ll support him in that, and I’m just thankful that I’ve had the four years I’ve had with him.’’ As you might expect, Ryan was also asked if this might be the year he finally wins a playoff game. He’s under the microscope because he’s 0-3 in playoff games. “I understand it,’’ Ryan said. “That’s the way of the NFL and the perception of fans at this point. Especially playing the quarterback position, I think you understand that even more. You’re judged on not only what you do during the regular season but how you perform in the postseason. We haven’t been our best, that’s for sure. But we’re at a point now where hopefully we can change that.’’
The new contract Asante Samuel signed soon after he was traded by the Philadelphia Eagles is even more cap friendly for the Atlanta Falcons than originally thought. Now that all the accounting has been done, Samuel is showing up with a $2.875 cap figure for Atlanta this year. Initially, his figure had shown up as $3.875 million, but the updated breakdown has Philadelphia taking a $1 million hit for pro-rated money this year. Samuel will earn $1.25 million in guaranteed base salary this season. He also has a roster bonus that will pay him $62,500 for each game he is active this season. That means he can earn an extra $1 million, but only $875,000 of that currently is counting against the cap. The other $125,000 does not count against this year’s cap, because it’s listed as a not-likely-to be-earned incentive. With Samuel’s contract and a restructured deal for guard Justin Blalock factored in, the Falcons now are $687,000 under the salary cap.