Matt Ryan announces retirement, signs one-day contract with Atlanta to retire a Falcon

On Monday, quarterback Matt Ryan announced his formal retirement from the NFL, signing a one-day contract to retire as a Falcon. His professional career lasted from 2008 to 22, with all but one season spent with the organisation that originally offered him a chance at 22 years old. He is currently 38.

"It was a hell of a ride," Ryan stated. "I'm excited to see what comes next, this next chapter of life, and where it takes us. But today, it's amazing for me because you never know where you're going to start in this field, and I couldn't have been luckier that it was here in Atlanta, and it lasted 14 years, and now I can bookend it and retire as a Falcon today."

Ryan was brought to Atlanta from Boston College as the third overall pick in the 2008 draft, and his tenure as quarterback began immediately. Ryan started all 16 games as a rookie, finishing 11-5 and completing 61.1% of his passes for 3,440 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.

 Ryan helped the Falcons make the playoffs that season, but they were eliminated in the wild-card round by the Arizona Cardinals.

Ryan started all 17 games in 2021, his final season with the Falcons. He completed 67% of his passes, accumulating 3,968 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. The Falcons finished the season 7-10, a mark they have not surpassed since.

Ryan started 222 of the Falcons' 225 regular season games. In 14 seasons with Atlanta, he had a winning record of 120-102 and appeared in six postseason games. The Falcons made a Super Bowl push in 2016, but lost to the New England Patriots.

"It hurts," Ryan explained. "I believe it is something that has always existed within you. Falling short of your ultimate goals is difficult, but it is a reality of life. There are many things in your life that will go that way. You've got to pick up and move on.

 I recall seeing Winston Churchill say, 'Success isn't final, and failure isn't fatal. "What counts is the courage to keep going."