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Jon Ryan, longtime Seattle Seahawks punter, released by team | Updated: 2018-08-21 03:00:16

The longest-tenured Seahawk is now an ex-Seahawk.

In a move that was expected, veteran punter Jon Ryan announced Monday on Twitter that he has been released.

The NFL Network reported that the release was requested by Ryan, who had played for the Seahawks since 2008.

The move allows Ryan to look for his next team, and it makes official what had been expected since the Seahawks traded up in the fifth round in April's draft to select Michael Dickson from Texas.

"It's been an absolute honor and privilege to play in this great city of Seattle for the past 10 years," Ryan wrote in his tweet. "I never wanted this day to come, but I knew it would someday. Even though I'm leaving, I will always be a Seahawk."

Ryan, 36, had two years remaining on his contract with base salaries of $2.6 million for 2018 and $3 million for 2019. His release clears $2.6 million in 2018 salary-cap space.

The Seahawks were giving him a chance to compete for his job. He averaged 45.6 yards on five punts over the first two preseason games compared with 51.6 on six punts for Dickson.

In discussing Ryan's situation last week, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called him "a perfect pro."

"He has taken to the competition by showing the classy guy that he is, and he's helping Michael wherever he can and talks situations with him, works to support him," Carroll said then. "He's helped him with his holding and all that stuff that Michael didn't have a lot of experience at. He's been a consummate pro."

Dickson won the 2017 Ray Guy Award as the nation's top punter, was a unanimous first-team All-American that same season and was twice named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year.

Ryan's tenure with the Seahawks spanned three head coaches -- Mike Holmgren, Jim L. Mora and Pete Carroll -- and coincided with the most successful stretch in franchise history. Perhaps Ryan's most memorable moment in Seattle was his touchdown pass to offensive tackle Garry Gilliam on a fake field goal that helped the Seahawks pull off an improbable comeback in the NFC Championship Game over the Green Bay Packers to reach their second straight Super Bowl following the 2014 season.

In his tweet, Ryan thanked ownership, team management, coaches and support staff.

"But more than anything, I want to thank the 12's," he wrote. "You embraced a pale skinned, red headed Canadian with a speech impediment and made him feel like a super star. I will forever be grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you Seattle."

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