DB Logan Ryan Announces Retirement

Nearly two months after returning to the Super Bowl stage, Logan Ryan is stepping away from football. The versatile defensive back announced his retirement after 11 seasons Tuesday morning (video link).

The former Patriots draftee later made his way to the Titans, Giants, Buccaneers and 49ers. The San Francisco agreement did not come to pass until early December, shortly after Talanoa Hufanga‘s season-ending injury. Ryan, 33, went from spending most of 2023 out of football to playing 62 defensive snaps in Super Bowl LVIII. He closes his career with 19 interceptions.

That marked Ryan’s third Super Bowl appearance. The 2013 third-rounder was a backup cornerback in Super Bowl XLIX but a starter by the time the Patriots returned to a Super Bowl two years later. Ryan played every Patriots defensive snap in their historic comeback past the Falcons, parlaying that season into a three-year, $30MM Titans contract.

A Rutgers alum, Ryan started 124 games and suited up for 19 playoff contests. Primarily playing cornerback in New England and Tennessee, Ryan was one of the top tacklers at the position during this NFL period. That helped a transition to safety commence during his Giants tenure. The Giants picked up Ryan late in the 2020 offseason and handed the New Jersey native an extension (three years, $31MM) months after that signing.

During Ryan’s final Titans season (2019), the team voyaged to its first AFC championship game since 2002. The 5-foot-11 defender had returned from a broken leg that ended his 2018 season. Ryan helped the 2019 Titans’ cause by making 113 tackles — 31 more than any other corner registered that season — as primarily a slot defender. Ryan’s 2019 playoffs included a pick-six on Tom Brady, ending the Patriots’ Super Bowl LIII title defense in the wild-card round. Ryan also intercepted a pass and sacked Brock Osweiler during the Patriots’ divisional-round win over the Texans in 2016.

The COVID-19-marred 2020 offseason led to several veterans lingering in free agency for months, as visits were shut down for an extended period. Ryan belatedly landed with the Giants on August 31, 2020, soon completing the transition to a safety role. This came after he displayed high-level blitzing chops, tallying 8.5 sacks over his final two Titans seasons.

Teaming with Xavier McKinney in 2021, Ryan notched a career-high 117 tackles in his second Giants season. Ryan’s two Giants years overlapped with ex-Patriots special teams coordinator Joe Judge’s New York tenure. The team moved on shortly after hiring Joe Schoen as GM, cutting Ryan and letting Jabrill Peppers join the Patriots in free agency. The Giants have since passed on re-signing ex-Ryan safety teammates McKinney and Julian Love, effectively starting over at the position.

The Buccaneers gave Ryan an opportunity in 2022, but a foot fracture limited his on-field work in Tampa. Ryan played in nine games with the Bucs, starting six, but the team did not bring him back in 2023. The 49ers reached out to Ryan following Hufanga’s injury, encouraging him to go on a booked cruise with his family before joining the team for the stretch run. After playing 12 defensive snaps over his first three 49ers games, Ryan was on the field for every San Francisco defensive play in Week 17, as the team wrapped up home-field advantage. He then played 100% of the 49ers’ defensive snaps against the Packers in the divisional round.

Ryan moved into the San Francisco slot role by Super Bowl LVIII and was the closest defender in coverage on Mecole Hardman‘s game-winning touchdown — one that wrapped the NFL’s longest Super Bowl — but the veteran safety/corner provided the 49ers with some pivotal reps leading up to that point. Discounting a short-field, one-play TD possession in the third quarter, it took the Chiefs until overtime to mount a touchdown drive against the 49ers. Ryan played in both the NFL’s overtime Super Bowls.

Over his career, Ryan earned just more than $69MM. The Titans authorized Ryan’s biggest contract, one he played out in the late 2010s, but he earned more than $15MM with the Giants as well.

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