Matt Ryan officially retires as a Falcon, did he do enough to make the Hall of Fame?

Matt Ryan officially retired from the NFL on Monday with a message to Falcons fans.  (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Matt Ryan officially retired from the NFL on Monday with a message to Falcons fans. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Matt Ryan didn't play in the NFL in 2023. He was in the broadcast booth for CBS.

Without the official word of his retirement, there was always the slight chance that some injury-depleted team could call. But Ryan closed that door on Monday.

In a heartfelt and emotional message, presented as an open letter to Atlanta Falcons fans, Ryan thanked many teammates that spanned the length of his 15-year career as he officially announced his retirement.

Ryan's career, which ended with one forgettable season with the Indianapolis Colts, included four Pro Bowls and the 2016 NFL MVP award. Ryan was consistently good through his career, which lasted a long time. He did enough that the question about his Hall of Fame credentials isn't outrageous.

Is Matt Ryan a Hall of Famer?

The Hall of Fame question with Ryan would be a lot clearer if the Falcons weren't on the wrong end of perhaps the most infamous collapse in NFL history.

Everyone knows it by now. In NFL circles, "28-3" has become shorthand for a historic Super Bowl and an easy way to troll Falcons fans. The Falcons blew a 25-point lead in Super Bowl LI and lost to the New England Patriots in overtime.

If the Falcons had just held on, Ryan's MVP season would have concluded with a Super Bowl ring and maybe a Super Bowl MVP too. It's hard to imagine Hall of Fame voters would have passed on putting in a quarterback with 62,792 career yards and a Super Bowl ring. Without the ring, the debate is a lot more difficult.

Ryan was good for his whole career, and great for one season. He is seventh all-time in career passing yards, though that means a lot less in the modern era of increased offensive production.

Ryan will be a tough call. It seems like he might end up on the outside looking in. That Super Bowl collapse might end up being devastating to Ryan in more ways than the obvious one.

Ryan had a good career

Whether Ryan makes the Hall of Fame or not, it's hard to argue that he had a fine career.

Ryan was the third pick of the 2008 NFL Draft and he started all 234 games he played in his NFL career. The Falcons won an NFC championship with him. He had 381 touchdowns. For almost a decade and a half, he was a face of the Atlanta franchise and led the Falcons to the playoffs six times. His career ended in Indianapolis, but it's fitting that he retired Monday as a Falcon.

"While we didn't accomplish everything we had hoped, I'm proud of what we did," Ryan said in his video, and the line sums up his career in Atlanta well.

Ryan had a good run in Atlanta. It was a great pick for the Falcons. Whether his accomplishments lead to a spot in Canton will be talked about plenty, starting a few years from now.