During the Falcons' end-of-season press conference team owner Arthur Blank announced that veteran quarterback Matt Schaub is planning to retire.
"I had a nice conversation yesterday with Matt Schaub," Blank said. "Again, for the second or third time, Matt's played his last game for us. He's retiring, as you all know. I thanked him for all that he's done in the NFL, generally. We interviewed him back in 2008, the year that we drafted Matt [Ryan], and Schaub has been a really good player for us and he's been a great player for the Texans."
Schaub, 39, was drafted by the Falcons in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft and began his career as the primary backup to Michael Vick in Atlanta. Schaub had a breakout performance in his second career start, a matchup against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Week 6 of the 2005 season. In place of an injured Vick, Schaub went toe-to-toe with Brady and threw for 298 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
While the Falcons ultimately lost that game, 28-31, it earned Schaub the reputation of being one of the top backup quarterbacks in the NFL. That was the final game Schaub would start for Atlanta before the team traded him to the Houston Texans prior to the 2007 season. For Schaub, the Falcons received the Texans' second round picks in 2007 and 2008, and Atlanta sent its 10th-overall pick in 2007 for Houston's 8th-overall pick that same year.
Upon his arrival in Houston, Schaub was given the opportunity to become the team's full-time starter at quarterback, an opportunity he seized. A starter for six seasons and the first half of his seventh in Houston, Schaub made two Pro Bowls and developed into a respected starting quarterback in the NFL. He led the league with 4,770 passing yards in 2009 and led the Texans to a franchise-best 12-4 record in 2012.
Schaub ended his time in Houston completing 64.6 percent of his passes for 23,221 yards with 124 touchdowns and 78 interceptions, which became an issue for him late in his run with the team. After one-year stints with the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens, Schaub was given the opportunity to return to Atlanta and reunite with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who he had worked with in Houston.
In his final four years with the Falcons, Schaub only made one start. But, in throwback fashion, he made it a memorable one. With Ryan injured in Week 8 of the 2019 season, Schaub stepped in to start against the Seattle Seahawks and threw for 460 yards with one touchdown and one interception. At the age of 38, he threw for the second-most yards in a single game in franchise history.
While he only started a grand total of three games in his seven years with the Falcons, Schaub was immensely respected by the fan base and now ends his NFL career right where it began.
Quarterback Matt Schaub, who started and finished his career in Atlanta, is hanging up his cleats, according to Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank. Schaub was drafted by the Falcons in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft.