SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Punter Jon Ryan signs 1-day contract to retire with Seahawks

Apr 16, 2024, 2:44 PM

Seattle Seahawks Jon Ryan...

Jon Ryan of the Seattle Seahawks punts during a 2017 game. (Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images)

(Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images)

A memorable member of the Seattle Seahawks’ Legion of Boom-era teams has been given the chance to hang up his cleats in navy and action green.

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The Seahawks and punter Jon Ryan signed a one-day contract Tuesday so he could retire as a member of the team he spent 10 of his 12 NFL seasons with.

Ryan, 42, won a Super Bowl ring with the Seahawks and maintained a strong 44.8 yards per punt during his decade with Seattle.

“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 said after signing the contract, according to Seahawks.com.

“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. 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. 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.”

Ryan’s season average with the Seahawks dipped below 44 yards per punt only twice in those 10 years, and he topped 45 yards per punt twice while with Seattle.

Not that his value on special teams wasn’t limited to punting. Ryan, who was also Seattle’s holder on field goals, had an unforgettable 19-yard touchdown pass on a fake field goal to tackle Garry Gilliam that ignited a Seahawks comeback to beat Green Bay 28-22 in the NFC Championship on Jan. 18, 2015.

The play received attention online for another reason, too. Why?

“I did the ugly face,” he admitted in 2015 during an interview on Seattle Sports. “Apparently I do a real ugly face when I throw a football.”

Ugly face or not, the touchdown was one of the more important plays in franchise history, helping the Seahawks reach the Super Bowl for the second straight year.

A fan favorite during his time in the Pacific Northwest thanks to his quirky sense of humor, Ryan returned to his native Canada after being released by the Seahawks in 2018, spending 2019-22 with three teams in the CFL. He also began his pro career in the CFL, playing the 2004 and 2005 seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers before breaking into the NFL with the Packers in 2006.

In addition to continuing his playing career after his time with the Hawks, Ryan branched out into the business of baseball, becoming co-owner of the Portland Pickles (West Coast League) and Cleburne Railroaders (American Association of Professional Baseball).

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