Former Bucs Rival Quarterback Makes Decision on Football Future

Bruce Arians

Getty Former Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, the current senior advisor, faced the Matt Ryan-led Atlanta Falcons often from 2019 to 2021.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers likely won’t see former rival Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan this season as he heads to the broadcast studio for CBS Sports.

Ryan went 16-12 against the Bucs in his career with the Falcons from 2008 to 2021. Things swung in the Bucs’ favor with Tom Brady under center for 2020 and 2021 with a 4-0 sweep in that span. Ryan joined the Indianapolis Colts in 2022, but things didn’t work out, and the team cut him in March this year.

“Excited to join the NFL on CBS family,” Ryan tweeted on Monday, May 15. “Looking forward to breaking down the game this season. P.S. – this is not a retirement post.”

Ryan, a free agent, clearly wants to play again, but he didn’t get picked up by another team. He struggled in 2022 amid 3,057 yards passing and 14 touchdowns versus 13 interceptions.

While Ryan won an MVP in 2016 and made the top-1o in numerous passing categories, two big losses mar his legacy. Ryan led the Falcons to a 28-3 lead in the 2017 Super Bowl but the Brady-led New England Patriots staged a comeback for a 34-28 overtime win. Another flop occurred for Ryan with the Colts in December 2022 when the Minnesota Vikings rallied from 33-0 down to win 39-36.

Other than the two blown-lead blunders, Ryan became a force in the NFC South after the Falcons took him at No. 3 in the 2008 NFL Draft. He earned All-Pro once and Pro Bowl honors four times amid 62,792 yards for 381 touchdowns versus 183 interceptions in his career.

“It is truly an honor to join this exceptional team at CBS Sports,” Ryan said via CBS Sports’ press release. “I have been blessed to have incredible teammates throughout my career and I am fortunate that will continue here working with and learning from the very best in the industry.”

CBS Pleased to Add Matt Ryan

CBS Sports executive Harold Bryant spoke highly of Ryan joining the network for the 2023 season. It fits Ryan’s academic background since he received a communication degree from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management.

“As one of the NFL’s marquee quarterbacks for the past 15 years, we’re thrilled to add Matt to our talented roster of NFL analysts,” Bryant said. “He has played the game at the highest level, including winning an MVP award and taking his team to the Super Bowl, and will bring a fresh perspective to CBS Sports. We look forward to Matt sharing his knowledge, insight and opinions with our viewers and bolstering our NFL coverage.”

Tom Brady Has Matt Ryan’s Number

Similar to Ryan, Brady will venture into broadcasting but for FOX in 2024.

Brady had Ryan’s number throughout their careers, which continued with the Bucs. It started with their first NFC South showdown in December 2020 when Brady led the Bucs from a 17-0 hole to defeat Atlanta 31-27.

While Brady stayed perfect against Ryan, the GOAT didn’t get to stay perfect against the Falcons. Brady became 10-1 all-time against Atlanta in January amid a Week 18 loss, but he notably just played the first half of the game, which didn’t have playoff  implications. Tampa put Kyle Trask and former backup Blaine Gabbert in the contest for the second half.