Former Kyle Shanahan QB Makes Big Decision on NFL Future

Kyle Shanahan

Getty Kyle Shanahan may be seeing a former player of his in the broadcast booth in the 2023 season.

The next time San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and his former quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan meet up, Ryan will most likely be in a three-piece suit and not in pads and helmet.

Ryan, who delivered his career-best season with Shanahan by his side, took to social media on Monday morning, May 15 to announce his next endeavor: CBS Sports, as the veteran quarterback and NFL free agent is giving the broadcast realm a try.

With Ryan going on this path, it could mean Ryan will be a row above an NFL press box for a 49ers game involving his former offensive coordinator.

Matt Ryan & Kyle Shanahan Together

Ryan and Shanahan are both remembered among Falcon fans and NFL fans in general for being a dynamic pairing as quarterback and offensive coordinator.

Though Shanahan was only with “Matty Ice” for two seasons, Ryan would go on to carve up defenses with back-to-back 4,500-yard seasons — 4,591 in 2015 then delivering a still career-best of 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns. That was also the season that saw Shanahan help give Ryan his best touchdown percentage of 7.1, yards average of 9.3 and completion percentage of 69.9.

Post Shanahan, Ryan still remained consistent in surpassing 4,000 yards each season. He would go on to put together four straight seasons of surpassing that mark — including being 21 yards shy of shattering his 2016 output by putting together a 4,924-yard campaign in 2018, which was his second season without Shanahan. Ryan would also throw more than 20 touchdowns post-Shanahan in his next five of six seasons.

Any Thoughts of a Reunion?

Ryan was clearly at his best with Shanahan on his side. And that raises the question if there was ever any thought of a reunion between the two.

Back on March 6, there was a report from NFL insider Michael Silver via Bally Sports that the 49ers became active in chasing after a veteran amid the uncertainty behind the health of Brock Purdy, who had just undergone surgery to repair a UCL ligament in his elbow.

“The 49ers — depending upon the outcome of incumbent starter Brock Purdy’s elbow surgery, which is scheduled for [Friday] — will be seeking a veteran to pair with 2021 first-round pick Trey Lance,” Silver said before mentioning three names. “Matt Ryan, Jacoby Brissett and Andy Dalton are among those being considered.”

The 49ers, though, opted to go with a different top five draft pick and a much younger passer in Sam Darnold to help fill their QB room. They also went with a lesser known backup but one who helped tutor Joe Burrow in Brandon Allen. Both helped answer the potential of Ryan reuniting with Shanahan by squashing that possibility.

Matt Ryan to Join Growing Fraternity

Meanwhile, Ryan has joined this broadcast fraternity: Ex-NFL QBs who went to the broadcast booth and studio.

Phil Simms, Boomer Esiason and Dan Marino all gave the realm a try after their careers of playing in Pro Bowls and Super Bowls. Then, Steve Young followed. Now, Tony Romo and Troy Aikman represent the current leaders in play-by-play coverage following their own football careers.

Ryan is anticipated to work as both a studio and game analyst across all CBS Sports platforms. It also means that if CBS picks up a 49ers game this fall, perhaps Ryan will be in the vicinity.

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