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Peria Jerry Retires From NFL After Five Seasons With Atlanta Falcons

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The veteran defensive tackle will hang up his cleats in training camp.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Peria Jerry is walking away from football at the age of 29, according to Jay Glazer.

It's a surprising retirement, given that Jerry was coming off arguably his best season in the NFL and was still just 29 years old. We'll likely find out more about the reasoning later on, but it could be anything from a desire to walk away with his health to the Falcons telling him he wouldn't make the team. We just don't know.

Jerry was the team's first round pick in 2009 and looked very good before suffering a catastrophic leg injury that almost certainly derailed his promising career before it ever really began. He spent most of the last five seasons as a rotational defense tackle, with 67 tackles, 5.5 sacks and three pass deflections. He had just re-signed for the veteran minimum earlier this year, so this won't have a real impact on the team's salary cap. Thanks in large part to his injury, Jerry was arguably the worst first round pick of the Thomas Dimitroff era.

The Falcons are loaded with defensive tackle/3-4 end types like Tyson Jackson, Corey Peters, Jonathan Babineaux, Ra'Shede Hageman and Travian Robertson, so they're not likely to feel a major impact from Jerry's retirement. Robertson's the most likely beneficiary of playing time that would have gone to Jerry had he made the roster.

I can't help but feel a little sad about this. It doesn't effect the team and Jerry was a popular punching bag for the fans, but he was someone who struggled his way back from a truly catastrophic injury and managed to contribute for the Falcons. He was never the same after that—he wasn't even very good, most of the time—but that's hardly his fault. On behalf of the Falcoholic staff, I'd like to wish Jerry well in his post-playing life and career.

So in summary, not a loss for the team, but a surprising move. Your thoughts?