If Jon Ryan couldn’t stay with the Seahawks or in the NFL, then going home to keep playing the game he loves is undoubtedly the next best thing.
And that’s what Ryan will get to do as it was reported Monday evening that he has signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.
The Roughriders play in Regina, where Ryan was born and played college football before beginning his pro career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL and then breaking into the NFL in 2006.
Ryan confirmed the news by tweeting a video to the song Coming Home by Diddy and his group Dirty Money, and various Canadian media outlets also reported it Monday. Hs wife, comedian Sarah Colonna, also confirmed the news in several tweets, writing: “Started kicking balls as a kid. Killed it in the CFL. Played 12 years in the NFL (what??). And now- gonna play for his HOMETOWN team back in the CFL??? Damn, babes. I’m so proud of you.”
The Regina Leader-Post reported that the team cleared a spot for Ryan by releasing veteran Josh Bartel, who had been the Roughriders’ punter four of the last five seasons (and it also appears as if he will keep his familiar jersey number 9).
The Roughriders will begin their regular season June 13 against Hamilton.
Ryan did not play last season after being waived by the Seahawks after two games in the preseason, asking to be released after it had become apparent he was not going to beat out rookie Michael Dickson for the job.
Ryan then signed with the Buffalo Bills but was waived before the regular season.
Ryan is the Seahawks’ career leader in virtually every punting category in a career that spanned from 2008-2018 including punting average (44.74 yards).
But he turned 37 last November and the Seahawks leapt at the chance in the 2018 draft to get Dickson, who capped a fabulous rookie season by being named to the Pro Bowl as well as first team All-Pro while ranking second in the NFL in punting average at 48.2, which is also a team record.
After being waived by the Seahawks, Ryan sold his Seattle area home and relocated to the Los Angeles area with Colonna.
But he also kept training and told the Seattle Times in December that he wanted to continue to play.
“I just love it too much,’’ he said. “I just miss being on the field every day and playing football. So yeah, I’ve made it clear to myself that I’m not ready to walk away from it yet. It’s just weird not playing football. It’s been a little bit of an adjustment. But at the same time, I think I am not done yet. So I think I know I will be playing somewhere again, even if it might not be in the NFL. … I’m 99 percent sure I’ll be playing football again.’’
As of Monday night, those odds are now 100 percent.