Saturday May 25th, 2024 5:04PM

Matt Ryan officially retires as a Falcon

By AccessWDUN Staff

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Matt Ryan has officially retired ... as an Atlanta Falcon.

The former NFL MVP signed a one-day contract with the Atlanta Falcons and announced his formal retirement from the NFL on Monday.

The Atlanta Falcons drafted Ryan as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. he played 14 seasons, 13 of them with the Falcons.

Ryan led the Falcons to an 11-5 season as a rookie. He completed 61.1 % of his passes for 3,440 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. The Falcons lost to the Arizona Cardinals in the wild-card round. 

Ryan's last season with the Falcons was 2021. He completed 67% of his passes for 3,968 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions, and the Falcons finished 7-10. He was traded to the Indianapolis Colts, where he started 12 games that season before being sidelined with an injury. 

Ryan released a video here. Below is his letter to Falcons fans. 

April 26th, 2008, my lifelong dream came true.
Ever since I can remember, all I ever wanted to do was play professional sports. And on that Saturday in New York City, the Atlanta Falcons gave me that chance. Thank you to Arthur Blank, Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff for making that dream of mine a reality.
The first season was special. I learned quickly from veteran teammates like Todd McClure, Keith Brooking, Brian Finneran, Lawyer Milloy, John Abraham and a whole bunch of others, what it took to be a true professional. For the rest of my career, I always tried to be that example for other teammates.
Football is the ultimate team sport, and your teammates and coaches make enjoying the highs so much fun and navigating the lows all the more bearable. I was lucky to be surrounded by so many great teammates and coaches. I learned very quickly what greatness looked like from Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and Michael Turner. A few years later, enters Julio Jones. And for ten years, I was lucky to be his teammate.
Seven years with Mike Smith as a head coach and six with Dan Quinn made me learn what leading men truly look like and shaped my views on leadership significantly. I'm so thankful to have played for those guys for so long and I appreciated my one year with Arthur Smith.
I truly believe that football, like life, is not simply about what you do, but rather who you do it with. I was a better player because of the people I was surrounded by.
So today – 16 years after being drafted – my childhood dream has officially come to an end. I'm honored to retire as a Falcon.
Thank you to all the Falcons fans for your continued support through the highs and the lows. I always felt your energy and passion. I want you to know that every day I felt the responsibility to give you the best version of myself. While we didn't accomplish everything we had hoped, I am proud of what we did, and I know that I gave everything I could to be the best that I possibly could.
You have no control in this profession of where you start. I am so lucky that my start and now my finish is here in Atlanta.

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