Jon Ryan signs one-day contract to retire with Seattle Seahawks

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 24: Punter Jon Ryan #9 of the Seattle Seahawks warms up before an NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field on December 24, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks signed punter Jon Ryan to a one-day contract so that he could retire from football as a member of the organization that he played 10 of his 12 seasons for in the NFL.

Ryan, 42, played for the Seahawks from 2008-2017, which included being a part of the Super Bowl XLVIII victory over the Denver Broncos in 2013. When he was released by Seattle after the 2017 season, Ryan held most of the team's career punting records, including punts (770), yards (34,492), and punts downed inside the 20-yard line (276). 

He also held the record for career average (44.8) and net punting average (38.7), both of which have currently been surpassed by Michael Dickson through his first five years in the NFL.

"I played 19 years of pro football, five teams, two different countries, two different leagues, but the best part of my career was playing here for those 10 years," Ryan told John Boyle of "It meant so much to me, I feel like I really found myself here. It was a big part of my life going from 26 to 36 in one place. And just the way the fans treated me here is the No. 1 thing."

Ryan's punting career began in the Canadian Football League with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2004-05 before moving to the NFL with the Green Bay Packers in 2007. After two years with the Packers, Ryan signed with the Seahawks and spent the next decade punting throughout the most successful stretch in team history.

One of Ryan's most memorable moments in Seattle didn't come throughout punting the ball, however. In the 2014 NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers, Ryan threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Garry Gilliam on a fake field goal call late in the third quarter that helped Seattle miraculously overcome a 16-0 deficit to earn a second consecutive trip to the Super Bowl.

"When you retire from football you're going to miss the boys, but I can call up the boys any time, they're going to be there. You're going to miss football, but I can take a bag of balls to the park and kick them around any time. But you can never recreate the 12s," Ryan said. "That feeling of walking on the field, of running out of the tunnel, it's something that no matter what you do the rest of your life, you'll never recreate. So the best situation for me was if I could just walk away as a Seahawk, and that's what they're allowing me to do today."

After a brief offseason stint with the Buffalo Bills, Ryan decided to go punt for his hometown team – the Saskatchewan Roughriders – back in the CFL. He spent three years in Regina with the Roughriders before punting one final season for the Edmonton Elks in 2022.


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