Matt Ryan Retires as a Falcon: A Look Back at His Storied NFL Career

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“Explore the remarkable NFL journey of quarterback Matt Ryan as he announces his retirement with a one-day contract to retire as an Atlanta Falcon. Reflect on his 14-year career, numerous accolades, and his enduring legacy with the Falcons.”


Matt Ryan has concluded his illustrious NFL career, officially retiring by signing a one-day contract to end his journey as a Falcon, the team he largely represented throughout his career from 2008 to 2022. At 38 years old, he reflected on a career that started when he was just 22, having been drafted by Atlanta from Boston College as the third overall pick.

Reflecting on his time in the league, Ryan expressed immense gratitude and excitement for his future. “It’s been an incredible journey,” he said. “I’m thrilled about embarking on the next phase of life, although today is special for me. Starting and ending my career in Atlanta, a place that’s been home for 14 years, means a lot.”

Ryan’s tenure with the Falcons was marked by immediate impact, starting every game in his debut season and taking his team to the playoffs. His last season wearing the Falcons’ colors was in 2021, finishing with a record of 7-10. Over his 14 years at Atlanta, Ryan had an impressive starting record in 222 out of 225 regular-season games, leading the team to six playoff appearances and a Super Bowl run in 2016, despite not clinching the championship.

Known for his resilience and dedication, Ryan quoted Winston Churchill to sum up his career: “Success isn’t final, and failure isn’t fatal. What counts is the courage to continue on.” He set multiple franchise records for Atlanta, including most completions, attempts, passing yards, and touchdowns, securing a legacy as the franchise’s all-time leading passer.

His achievements include being named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2008, earning first-team All-Pro honors, the AP Offensive Player of the Year award, and the MVP title in 2016, alongside four Pro Bowl selections.

Arthur Blank, owner of the Falcons, praised Ryan not just as a player but as a person. “Matt has not only been an outstanding quarterback but also a remarkable human being and a role model,” Blank said. “It’s a privilege to witness him conclude his professional playing career with us.”

Ryan had a brief stint with the Indianapolis Colts in 2022, but returned to Atlanta to retire. Post-retirement, he is set to join CBS Sports as an NFL analyst, contributing to various broadcasts and shows.

Concluding his announcement, Ryan expressed his heartfelt thanks to Atlanta, emphasizing the significance of the opportunity given to him by the Falcons back in 2008. “I’m forever grateful for the chance to realize my childhood dream here, and I’ll always be cheering for Atlanta and the Falcons,” he said.

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