#3 Matt Bryant

We continue our look at Atlanta's players by examining the kicker, Matt Bryant.

The Falcons re-signed kicker Matt Bryant to a contract extension in February. According to spotrac, Bryant signed "a 3 year, $8,500,000 contract with the Atlanta Falcons, including a $1,000,000 signing bonus, $1,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $2,833,333. In 2015, Bryant will earn a base salary of $1,350,000, a signing bonus of $1,000,000 and a roster bonus of $800,000. Bryant has a cap hit of $2,483,333 while his dead money value is $1,000,000."

That's a big contract for a kicker who just turned 40 in late May, but Bryant has proven to be worth every nickel since he joined the Falcons in 2010.

In his four-plus seasons with the Falcons, Bryant has made 88.6 percent of his field goals. He's right behind Morten Anderson as Atlanta's second-leading scorer with 666 points. Anderson has 806 points.

Last season, Bryant was good on 29 of his 32 field goal attempts. He actually led the NFL with seven field goals of 50 yards or longer.

This is very simple. Until Bryant shows he can't do this job anymore, the Falcons must continue to rely on him as one of the best kickers in the NFL. He has shown no signs of slowing down, as he was as dependable last season as he was in his younger days.

It's a tremendous asset to have a kicker that has been as dependable as Bryant. The Falcons know if they get near midfield and into the opponent's territory, Bryant can put points on the board. Not every NFL team has that luxury.

So until Bryant shows otherwise, expect him to continue to be one of the best kickers in the NFL. The Falcons offense is already dangerous, but Bryant wins games with his legs, making it even more lethal to opposing defenses.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.

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