Matt Ryan returns to Atlanta, retires as member of Falcons

Field Level Media

April 22, 2024 at 7:28 pm.

Matt Ryan, a former NFL Most Valuable Player, made the end of his pro football career official Monday, retiring as a member of the Atlanta Falcons.

Ryan played 14 seasons at quarterback for the Falcons, who selected him with the No. 3 overall pick of the 2008 draft, and one final season with the Indianapolis Colts in 2022. He didn’t play last season, instead working as a television analyst.

On Monday, the Falcons posted a three-minute-plus video in which Ryan made the announcement, thanking the city and the team.

“My childhood dream has officially come to an end. I’m honored to retire as a Falcon,” he said.

Ryan led the NFL in completions in 2019 and 2020 and won the 2016 MVP, when he led the team to an 11-5 mark behind 4,944 passing yards, 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was selected to four Pro Bowls.

That 2016 team played in Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5, 2017, and had a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots in the third quarter before Tom Brady led his team on an epic comeback, winning 34-28 in overtime.

“Matt Ryan’s impact on the Atlanta Falcons organization and the city of Atlanta is immeasurable,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Monday. “Matt was selected as the third-overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, went on to win the NFL Rookie of the Year award and led us to the playoffs in his first season.

“That was the start of building a special career that now sees him holding every significant passing record in our franchise history. Matt always represented himself, his family, teammates and our team with class, character, and integrity on and off the field.”

Ryan started 234 career games — 222 of them in Atlanta — and was remarkably durable in posting a 124-109-1 record. He missed just three games with the Falcons.

For his career, he connected on 65.6 percent of his passes 62,792 yards (seventh in NFL history), threw 381 touchdown passes (ninth in NFL history) and 183 interceptions.

His 38 career fourth-quarter comebacks rank him fourth all-time in the category behind Brady, Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger.

He said Monday that he was happy to retire as a member of the Falcons: “You have no control in this profession in where you start. I am so lucky that my start and my finish was here in Atlanta.”

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