QB Matt Ryan Retires

2023 saw Matt Ryan transition to the broadcast booth, a move which appeared to bring an end to his playing days. The former MVP quarterback remained open to a return to the field last season, but that is no longer the case.

Ryan announced his official retirement on Monday (video link). To no surprise, he has done so as a member of the Falcons, the organization with which he spent the first 14 years of his career. The 38-year-old spent 2022 with the Colts, but his one-and-done tenure there paved the way for his broadcasting career to begin.

The Falcons drafted Ryan third overall in 2008, and he served as the team’s starting quarterback from that point through to his final campaign in Atlanta (2021). He collected four Pro Bowl nods during that span, highlighted by the 2016 season in which he was at the helm of the league’s highest-scoring offense. The Falcons rode their success on that side of the ball to a Super Bowl appearance.

Atlanta went on to suffer an historic collapse in that game, and the team has only made one playoff appearance since. As Ryan aged, he generally remained a consistent producer but the former Offensive Rookie of the Year was unable to guide the Falcons an another deep playoff run. After facing increasing questions about his future, Ryan was dealt to the Colts in 2022.

Indianapolis viewed the Ryan acquisition as a multi-year investment, but he struggled during his run as the team’s starter (14 touchdowns, 13 interceptions in 12 games). With Frank Reich out of the picture, interim head coach Jeff Saturday benched the Boston College product; that move, in turn, foreshadowed his release last March. Ryan then lined up a deal with CBS while leaving the door open to an NFL return under the right circumstances.

After the Jets lost Aaron Rodgers to an Achilles tear in Week 1, Ryan was named as one of the veteran passers who reached out to New York about a short-term arrangement. Ryan disputed that, though, and he remained away from the game (in a playing capacity) for the campaign. Now, he can keep his attention focused on his broadcasting work while reflecting on his decorated time in the league.

“So today, 16 days after being drafted, my childhood dream has officially come to an end. I’m honored to retire as a Falcon,” Ryan’s message reads in part. “Thank you to all the Falcons fans for your continued support… While we didn’t accomplish everything we had hoped, I am proud of what we did.”

Ryan will formally exit the game as the Falcons’ franchise record-holder in several categories. In terms of all-time ranks, he sits fifth in the NFL in completions (5.551), seventh in yards (62.792) and ninth in touchdowns (381). Today’s one-day Falcons pact represents the final – and, of course, least lucrative – one of his accomplished tenure. Ryan amassed over $306MM in career earnings after inking two separate Atlanta extensions with a nine-figure total value.

“You have no control in this profession in where you start,” Ryan added. “I am so lucky that my start and my finish was here in Atlanta.”

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