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Matt Ryan announced his retirement, signing a one-day contract with Atlanta for the Falcons' retirement

Matt Ryan announced his retirement, signing a one-day contract with Atlanta for the Falcons' retirement

FLOWER BRANCH, Ga. — One of the Atlanta Falcons' cornerbacks has officially hung up his cleats.

Quarterback Matt Ryan officially announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday in Atlanta, where he signed a one-day contract to retire as a Falcon. His professional career spanned from 2008-2022, and he spent all but one season with the organization that first gave him a chance as a 22-year-old. He is now 38.

“It's been a hell of a ride,” Ryan said. “I'm excited to see what's next, this next chapter of life and see where that takes us. But today, it's exciting for me because you never have control over this career where you're going to start and I couldn't have been able to. I was lucky because it was the beginning here.” “In Atlanta, it lasted 14 years and now I can call it quits and retire as a Falcon today.”

Ryan was brought to Atlanta from Boston College in 2008 as the No. 3 overall pick of the draft, and He began his career as QB1 immediately. During his rookie season, Ryan started all 16 games, going 11-5 and completing 61.1% of his passes for 3,440 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Ryan helped the Falcons earn a playoff bid that year, falling just short of the Arizona Cardinals in the wild-card round.

In total, Ryan started in 222 of a possible 225 regular season games for the Falcons. He compiled a winning record of 120-102 and made six playoff appearances during his 14 years with Atlanta. There was a Super Bowl run in the 2016 season, but the Falcons lost to the New England Patriots.

“It hurts,” Ryan said. “I think that's one of the things that's always a part of you, isn't it? Failing to achieve what you set out to do in the end is hard, but that's life. There's a lot of things in your life that are going to go that way. You have to pick yourself up and move on. I remember See Winston Churchill quote: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal.”

Which he did, by setting the success record for every major franchise instead.

Ryan is Falcons' all-time passing leader With a stat line of 5,242 completions on 8,003 attempts for 59,735 yards, 367 touchdowns and 170 interceptions. He has the best average, at 269.1 yards per game. He completed the most passes (65.5%) among players who appeared in at least 10 matches. He threw the longest pass — 93 yards in 2019, which doubled as the highest mark in the league that year as well.

“As I go back and read these notes and prepare for this day,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said, “I have been truly blown away in the 14 years that we have had Matt as our quarterback and leader, what he has accomplished.

“…This is an exceptional football player but perhaps even more exceptional as a human being, as a husband, as a father and as a great friend. He was a beloved friend to me in that period of time, and to my entire family. They look up to Matt as one of us, and he's certainly one of the Atlanta players,” It is a great honor to be here today to represent our franchise and for Matt to end his career as an Atlanta Falcon.

Ryan worked under three full-time head coaches while with the Falcons: Mike Smith (2008-14), Dan Quinn (2015-20) and Arthur Smith (2021). Current coach Raheem Morris served as Ryan's interim head coach for 11 games in 2020 after Quinn was released after the first five games.

The Falcons traded Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts on March 21, 2022, in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

That year marked Ryan's final season. In 12 starts with the Colts, Ryan went 4-7-1 and completed 67% of his passes for 461 yards, 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He missed two matches Weeks 8 and 9 Due to a shoulder injury, Sam Ehlinger intervened. Ryan was then replaced by Nick Foles in Week 16 for the rest of the season. The Colts finished 4-12-1.

On May 15, 2023, CBS Sports announced that Ryan would join the network as an NFL analyst for select games and shows for the upcoming season. When Ryan shared the news on Instagram, he made sure to add: “Note: This is not a retirement post“.

“I didn't want anything else as a kid but to play professional sports,” Ryan said. “In April of 2008, (the Falcons) gave me that opportunity. I know that draft picks are never an easy decision. There's a lot of options, there's a lot of paths you can take. So, for me, it was a responsibility every day to make sure that you Right and I've tried to do that the best I can over the fourteen seasons here.

“Thank you for the trust, thank you for the trust over those 14 years, and thank you for the continued friendships. I will certainly continue to root for Atlanta and the Falcons.”