Falcons RB Jason Snelling to retire at age 30

By John Breech | CBSSports.com

Like Tony Gonzalez, Jason Snelling [left] is now retired. (USATSI)
Like Tony Gonzalez, Jason Snelling [left] is now retired. (USATSI)

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Apparently the retiring bug has hit Atlanta. The Falcons announced on Tuesday that running back Jason Snelling has decided to hang up his cleats. Snelling becomes the second Falcon to retire this offseason, joining tight end Tony Gonzalez, who unofficially retired in February when he signed on with CBS.

Unlike the 38-year-old Gonzalez though, Snelling isn't pushing 40. The Falcons running back turned 30 on Dec. 29, the same day Atlanta played its 2013 regular season finale.

"I have decided to retire after seven years in the NFL to spend time with my family," Snelling said in a statement. "I want to thank Mr. Blank, Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith for providing me the opportunity to play for the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are a first class organization run by a first class owner and I am grateful that I got to spend my entire career in Atlanta."

Snelling's seven-year career started in 2007 when he was one of the final 15 picks in the NFL Draft. Atlanta selected Snelling in the seventh round with the 244th overall pick. The 30-year-old played in a total of 96 regular season games over seven seasons with the Falcons and rushed for 1,420 yards.

"Jason was a good teammate and a joy to coach," Falcons head coach Mike Smith said. "He played a number of roles for our team during his time here and was always ready when his number was called."

Snelling's production peaked in 2009 when he rushed for 613 yards and four of his eight career rushing touchdowns. The dual-threat back also had 1,249 receiving yards and nine touchdown catches in his seven-year career.

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