Breaking News: Atlanta Falcons quarterback announces retirement after 15 seasons in NFL

Quarterback Matt Ryan announced his formal retirement from the NFL on Monday, having signed a one-day contract to retire with the Atlanta Falcons; Ryan spent 14 seasons with the Falcons and one with the Indianapolis Colts

Matt Ryan, previously named as the NFL’s most valuable player in 2016, has announced his retirement aged 38. 

Ryan played 14 seasons at quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, who selected him the No 3 overall pick of the 2008, then had one season with the Indianapolis Colts in 2022.

He didn’t play in the 2023 season, instead working as a TV analysis, before signing a one-day contract with the Falcons this week to retire as a Falcon.

“My childhood dream has officially come to an end,” Ryan said in a video posted by the Falcons, where he thanked the city and the team. “I’m honoured to retire as a Falcon.

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 also selected for four Pro Bowls.

That 2016 team played in Super Bowl LI on February 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 organisation and the city of Atlanta is immeasurable,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said. “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.

When Ryan became NFL’s MVP in 2016

“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 posted a 124-109-1 record during his career. He missed just three games with the Falcons, with Ryan’s 38 career fourth-quarter comebacks ranking him fourth all-time in the category behind Brady, Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger.

He said 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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