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Former Colts quarterback retires from NFL

Matt Ryan #2 of the Indianapolis Colts looks to pass under pressure from Anthony Barr #42 of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half at AT&T Stadium on Dec. 4, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

ATLANTA (WISH) — A decorated career is officially over.

Former Indianapolis Colts and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday.

Ryan signed a one-day contract with the Falcons to retire with the Dirty Birds in Atlanta.

“Today, 16 years after being drafted, my childhood dream has officially come to an end,” Ryan said in a video posted on the Falcons’ social media pages. “I’m honored to retire as a Falcon… I am so lucky that my start and my finish was here in Atlanta.”

The four-time Pro Bowler played 14 of his 15 seasons in Atlanta after the Falcons drafted him third overall from Boston College in 2008. Ryan’s best season game was in 2016 when he was named the league Most Valuable Player and led the Falcons to Super Bowl LI, in which they famously lost to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots after leading by 28-3. Ryan addressed that loss in his retirement speech.

“It’s one of the things, I think that’s always a part of you. Falling short of what you ultimately set out to do is tough. But that’s life. There’s so many things in your life that are gonna go that way. You’ve got to pick up and move on,” Ryan said Monday.

When owner Arthur Blank and crew decided a new era was needed in Atlanta in 2022, Ryan was traded to Indianapolis for a third-round pick in that year’s draft. Ryan played in 12 games for the Horseshoe, leaving Indy throwing for 3,057 yards, 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. The Colts finished 4-12-1 that season after firing head coach Frank Reich and dealing with a carousel of quarterback changes — ultimately releasing Ryan.

Ryan’s 62,792 career passing yards rank seventh all-time behind Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers. Pro Football Hall of Famer Manning won a Super Bowl title for the Colts — one of dozens of accolades during Manning’s 14 seasons in Indy — while Rivers also finished his career with one final year with the Horseshoe.

Elsewhere, Ryan officially leaves the league fifth in NFL history in completions (5,551) and passing attempts (8,464), ninth in touchdowns (381) and sacks taken (488). His 46 game-winning drives are sixth best in history.