Matt Ryan knows that his career is winding down as he recently celebrated his 36th birthday. But how long will he be the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons? Ryan talked to reporters on Tuesday and revealed that he has no plans of retiring anytime soon.
"I think in one respect you understand that if you play well for long enough, these are the conversations that are going to come up," Ryan said when asked about his thoughts on fans who want a change at quarterback. "I understand I'm not going to play forever, but I also have the mindset that I can still play really well and have a lot of good football in front of me."
The Falcons had the No. 4 overall pick in the NFL Draft in April and selected tight end Kyle Pitts. There were some who thought the Falcons should have selected quarterback Justin Fields who would have been Ryan's replacement. However, the Falcons, who have a new head coach and new general manager, are committed to the guy who won the NFL MVP award in 2016 and led the team to the Super Bowl the same season.
However, things have not been great for the Falcons recently. After the brutal Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots, Atlanta has had only one winning season, which was in 2017. In 2020, the Falcons finished with a 4-12 record, leading to the team hiring Arthur Smith as the head coach and Terry Fontenot as the general manager.
"Whether it's year 1 or year 13, whatever it is, you're constantly trying to prove that you're the right person for this spot," he said. "I was told at a young age from some veteran players that in this locker room you don't own a locker. You rent it. So I try to pay the rent on time all the time and do the best I can do to stay in that spot."
Despite the criticism, Ryan has been one of the more consistent quarterbacks in the NFL. In his career, Ryan has thrown for 55,767 yards, 347 touchdowns and 158 interceptions with a 94.5 passer rating. He has been selected to play in the Pro Bowl four times, was selected to the All-Pro First Team in 2016 and was named Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2008.