Born: May 29, 1975 in Orange, Texas
Matt Bryant attended Bridge City High School where he played both football and baseball. After high school, Bryant attended Trinity Valley Community College where he was a two time NJCAA All-American and a member of the 1994 national championship team. He then signed with Oregon State University, later transferring to Baylor where he ranks seventh in all-time scoring for placekickers. His 21 field goals place him fifth in Bears’ history and his career 42-42 extra points set the school record.
After graduation, Bryant was not drafted. He worked in a pawn shop and as a personal trainer before playing for a short time with both the Arena Football League and NFL Europe.
In 2002, he was signed as a free agent by the New York Giants. Bryant played one season with the Giants. After playing with both the Indianapolis Colts and the Miami Dolphins, he was signed as a free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2005. On October 22, 2006 Bryant successfully converted a 62-yard field goal as time expired in Tampa Bay’s 23-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. The field goal was the second longest in NFL history.
Bryant was signed to the Atlanta Falcons on December 1, 2009. On September 7, 2014, he became the 4th player in NFL history to kick a 50+ yard field goal with less than a minute remaining in regulation to force overtime. He eclipsed 700 career points in 2015. In 2016 he played in Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots. The Falcons went on to lose 34–28 in overtime. Bryant was 4-for-4 on extra points, however, and in recognition of his successful season, he earned a Pro Bowl nomination for the first time in his career. At this time, he intends to continue playing with the Falcons through 2020.
Matt Bryant and his wife, Melissa, established the Matthew Tryson Bryant Foundation in honor of their son to raise awareness for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). All proceeds from the foundation go to the March of Dimes.