Peria Jerry retires from the NFL

Peria Jerry retires from the NFL

The Falcons took a hit on the defense Thursday with an unexpected retirement.

Peria Jerry retired Thursday. He said he’s done. He told head coach Mike Smith after lunch that he was hanging up his spikes.

It was a little bit of a surprise considering how well Jerry had played early on in practice. We’re not sure yet what happened. Neither the Falcons nor Jerry would elaborate on the reasons.

So ends a career that will have to go down as a disappointment. We will always wonder if Perry had not hurt his knee in week two of his rookie season what kind of career he might have had.

Jerry played in 14 games in 2013 and had a career-high 3.5 sacks. The Falcons re-signed Jerry to a contract over the offseason to remain in defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s defense.

The Falcons took Jerry with the 24th pick in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. They could have taken Clay Matthews, who was selected two picks later by Green Bay. Jerry had tremendous promise as a defensive tackle, but his knee injury never allowed him to show that true potential.

How will this impact the Falcons moving forward? Well, Travian Robertson, a 2012 7th round draft pick out of South Carolina, continues to make a good impression in training camp. The Falcons still have hope Corey Peters will return from his Achilles’ Heel injury and be on the defensive line of scrimmage. They resigned him over the offseason, so the belief must be there Peters will be able to return.

Of course, the Falcons signed big Paul Soliai to anchor the defensive line for this season. Jonathan Babineaux will play inside when the team has four men on the line of scrimmage.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill at and e-mail him at Recommended Stories

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