Ryan Becker, a 2016 Marble Falls High School graduate, signed a new contract with the Atlanta Falcons on Feb. 15. Courtesy photo
Just like the phoenix, Ryan Becker keeps rising. The 2016 Marble Falls High School graduate resigned with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, Feb. 15, seven months after the team cut him following a broken collarbone.
“I had to pass my physical and went back there in shape,” said the tight end. “I was cleared medically. I’m ready to be back on the field. I’m excited to get back and get playing time.”
Before he first joined the Falcons in 2021, Becker was with the Arizona Cardinals, but they let him go.
Becker broke his collarbone during a joint practice between the Falcons and the Miami Dolphins last August. He jumped up to catch a touchdown pass and landed on his shoulder.
“I knew it immediately,” he said. “At the time, I wasn’t laughing. I was on the (injured reserve) with the Falcons. I was in Atlanta the whole time until they said, ‘We’re going to release you because of the tight salary cap.’ They didn’t want to pay me for my contract. So I started training in Austin and focused on getting healthy.”
The Falcons organization waited until after this past season ended to contact Becker, a 2019 Southern Methodist University graduate with a degree in sports management.
Four other teams also reached out to Becker to inquire about his rehabilitation and see if he wanted to participate in a workout with them, but his heart remained with Atlanta.
One reason is head coach Arthur Smith and tight ends coach Justin Peelle.
“Coach Smith was the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans,” Becker said. “He loves his tight ends and likes being around the tight ends still. Coach Peelle was in Philadelphia for several years and played for the Falcons.”
His first time on the team, Becker hit it off with both coaches because of their shared approach to the game. Smith told players he doesn’t care which university they attended, if they were highly recruited coming out of high school, or any other accolades. All he cares about is whether a player can contribute.
“I told him that all I need is an opportunity and a chance,” Becker said, “and he stuck with that. I really like coach Smith. I love Atlanta and Georgia. It’s a good fit.”
He will report in April for organized team activities to prepare for training camp and the 2022 season.