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Matt Ryan: Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback announces retirement

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has officially announced his retirement after 15 seasons in the NFL.

Ryan represented the Falcons for 14 seasons after being picked third overall in the 2008 NFL Draft, breaking franchise records for passing yards, touchdown throws, attempts, completions and wins.

He was named NFL MVP for the 2016 season as the Falcons reached Super Bowl LI, where he threw for two scores.

However, Atlanta famously squandered a 28-3 lead in one of the most iconic Super Bowls of all time, with Tom Brady’s New England Patriots roaring back for a 34-28 overtime success.

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Ryan was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in 2022 and played one season with the team before sitting out 2023.

On Monday, the 38-year-old posted a heartfelt video message on social media, announcing he had signed a one-day contract with Atlanta in order to formally retire as a Falcon.

“Today, 16 years after being drafted, my childhood dream has officially come to an end. I’m honoured to retire as a Falcon,” a visibly emotional Ryan said.

“Thank you to all the Falcons fans for your continued support. Through all the highs and lows, I always felt your energy and your 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 hoped, I’m proud of what we did and know I gave everything I could to be the best that I possibly could be.

“You have no control in this profession over where you start, but I’m so lucky that my start, and my finish, was in Atlanta.”

In a statement, Falcons owner Arthur Blank described Ryan as a future Hall-of-Famer, adding: “This is an exceptional football player, but probably more exceptional as a human being, as a husband, as a father, as a great friend.

“He’s been a beloved friend to me during this period of time. He’s one of our own and he’s certainly one of Atlanta’s own.”

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