Atlanta Falcons have released Matt Bryant, opting not to excerise his option the team confirmed Wednesday afternoon.
“Matt Bryant will be remembered as one of the greatest Falcons of all time,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a statement on the team's website.
“He is the leading scorer in the history of the team with 1,122 points and made countless memorable and game-winning kicks. His reliability and dependability were unmatched and he has been unflappable in pressure-filled moments. Matt has represented our organization and city so well on and off the field by living our core values through hundreds of hours of community service. He was rightfully recognized as our Walter Payton Man of the Year in both 2013 and 2014. We are deeply grateful for his contributions to the Atlanta Falcons and wish Matt, his wife Melissa and their children all the best in the future," Blank said.
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Bryant first shared the news of his career with the Falcons ending on Twitter. Bryant, who will turn 44 in May, said Tuesday night that he did not plan on retiring.
“I was informed last night that the team was moving on from my services and that I would be released,” Bryant wrote on Twitter. “I want to say thank you to all (of) the fans that have stood with me and my family during our time here.”
Over this past year I’ve been asked numerous times about retirement and how I feel. Well, I’m not retiring and I feel fine and plan on feeling even better with some changes to my offseason program!— matt bryant (@Matt_Bryant3) February 6, 2019
Bryant had been with the Falcons since 2009 and signed a contract worth $10.5 million in March 2018. The move creates $2.8 million in cap space for the Falcons, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Falcons will now look to Giorgio Tavecchio, who signed a deal in August.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff released this statement on the team's website:
“I am extremely grateful for everything that Matt Bryant has done for this organization over the last 10 years,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “There is no doubt he is one of the all-time great Falcons as he’s been an integral part of our success. This was a difficult decision but one that was necessary for us to move forward into 2019. We have the utmost respect for the person and the player that Matt is, and we wish he and his family the best going forward.”
MATT BRYANT RECORDS AND STATS
- 1,717 career points, fifth among active players
- Made 388 of 450 field goal attempts (86.2 percent), fourth among active kickers
- Made 553 of 560 point after attempts (98.8 percent)
- Scored more than 100 points in a single season 10 times during his career
- Atlanta Falcons all-time leading scorer with 1,122 points
- Falcons single-season scoring record with 158 points in 2016
Statistics and information from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was used in this report.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.