When he joined CBS Sports as a NFL analyst in May, Matt Ryan made it very clear in his Twitter announcement of that move that “This is not a retirement post.” Many initially thought that might just be a contract move, as the 38-year-old Ryan is still owed $12 million in guaranteed money from the Indianapolis Colts (who signed him to a two-year deal in 2022, but released him this offseason). But it’s starting to look more and more like he could possibly wind up playing again.
In addition to those initial comments on not retiring, Ryan said a few days later he wasn’t ruling out the possibility of a return, but “the stars would have to [align].” And in some ways, they may have. The Week 1 injury to Aaron Rodgers left the New York Jets relying on Zach Wilson, and led to all sorts of speculation on what (if any) veteran quarterbacks they might reach out to. And on Sunday, Fox NFL insider Jay Glazer reported (around 1:02 in the below clip) that Ryan (and Carson Wentz) reached out to the Jets, but the team declined to stick with Wilson, at least for now:
Will Joe Burrow suit up for the Bengals tomorrow night? @JayGlazer gives an update on his status, and what Aaron Rodgers will be doing for the Jets post-surgery
Also, Matt Ryan and Carson Wentz have expressed interest in joining the Jets ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/fYuaIX1VhY
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 24, 2023
And CBS’ Jeff Kerr got some comments from Ryan (calling the Buffalo Bills-Washington Commanders game alongside Andrew Catalon, Tiki Barber, and AJ Ross) on that, including confirmation that his agent did reach out to the Jets:
Matt Ryan hasn’t played since last season with the Colts, but he hasn’t necessarily hung up his cleats for good. On Sunday, Ryan confirmed to CBS Sports that his agent had contacted the Jets.
Carson Wentz also recently reached out to the Jets about joining the roster at quarterback, per Fox Sports. The Jets told Wentz they remain committed to Zach Wilson. It’s not known if Wentz is would be willing to accept a backup role.
As for Ryan, he said “I love what I’m doing” in his current role at CBS Sports. Ryan is on the call Sunday for the Bills-Commanders game on CBS Sports, alongside Andrew Catalon, Tiki Barber and AJ Ross – his broadcast partners on the network this season.
CBS Sports lead NFL Insider Jonathan Jones has reported that the Jets remain committed to Wilson, for now, and have not been reaching out to the starting-caliber veteran quarterbacks.
While the Jets said they were happy with Wilson and not looking to bring in veteran quarterbacks, that may change if he keeps playing the way he is. On Sunday, Wilson completed just 18 of 36 passes (50 percent) for 157 yards. So there might be some more interest from them in other options in the days ahead. And Ryan’s confirmation of his interest here might make it more likely still that his retirement may not be final. We’ll see if he gets interest from the Jets or any other team.