Matt Ryan pens thank you to Atlanta: 'I have long thought and often said that I would retire as a Falcon'

Matt Ryan spent 14 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons before Monday's trade that shipped him to Indianapolis.

The former NFL MVP wrote a lengthy thank you letter to Atlanta, praising the fans and noting that he expected to retire the Falcons quarterback.

"I have long thought and often said that I would retire as a Falcon," Ryan wrote. "But the changes and growth continue. As excited as I am about this next step in my career, this is a bittersweet moment.

"I have spent more than a decade playing for you, the fans of Atlanta. You have made all of this worth it, and all of this means something more than what could ever be reflected in a statistic. I appreciate each and every one of you, and I thank you, so sincerely, for the life you have given me all of these seasons."

In his 14 years in Atlanta after becoming the No. 3 overall pick in 2008, Ryan generated 59,735 passing yards (eighth-most in NFL history). He earned four Pro Bowl bids and a first-team All-Pro and helped guide the club to a Super Bowl appearance. Ryan threw for 367 passing TDs in all (ninth-most in NFL history) and tossed 20-plus TDs in 13 consecutive seasons.

In Ryan's run in Atlanta, he was part of six teams that earned 10-plus wins. All other QBs in Falcons team history had three such seasons. Ryan threw for more than 4,000 yards in 10 campaigns. All other ATL QBs have done so once.

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