‘Three different teams have offered me a contract’: former Riders punter Jon Ryan not ready to retire

Photo courtesy: Hannah Souster

Former Saskatchewan Roughrider punter Jon Ryan still hopes to play again in the Canadian Football League.

The 40-year-old long-time Seattle Seahawk told a fundraiser for the Regina Red Sox Western Major Baseball League team over the weekend that he still hasn’t ruled out a return to the CFL, although it won’t be with the Riders.

“I know I have football left in me and I know that there’s three different teams that have offered me a contract. It’s a matter of if I’m comfortable knowing that I’m going to perform as well as I want to perform,” Ryan said.

“Right now, I’m recovering from an injury and I’m not where I want to be. I’m not going to sign with a team until I know that I’m comfortable that I’m able to perform at the level I need to.”

Born and raised in Regina, Ryan has enjoyed a distinguished career on both sides of the border, including 12 seasons in the NFL culminating with a Super Bowl title with Seattle after the 2013 season. That made the Ryan the first ever player from Saskatchewan to win an NFL championship ring.

He returned to Regina in 2019 with plans to finish his career as a Roughrider but now it appears Ryan might end his football odyssey elsewhere. After a late-season ankle injury while trying to make a special teams tackle in Calgary this past season, the Riders opted not to offer the free agent a contract.

Ryan was asked to promise he wouldn’t sign with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to which the University of Regina Ram alum said he couldn’t do. The blue and gold originally selected Ryan in the third round, 24th overall during the 2004 CFL Draft. The mere thought of Ryan not finishing his career with the green and white is bad enough for most Rider fans.

The visual of him doing so for Saskatchewan’s biggest rival would be a whole lot worse.

Brendan McGuire has covered the CFL since 2006 in radio and print. Based in Regina, he has a front-row view of Rider Nation.