Longtime Falcons running back Jason Snelling has decided to retire, the team announced today in a press release. Snelling cited the desire to spend more time with his family as the primary reason for ending his NFL playing career.
“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. [Arthur] Blank, [GM] 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, who had one year remaining on his contract, spent all seven seasons of his NFL career with the Falcons after being selected by the team in the seventh round of the 2007 draft. The 30-year-old played at halfback and fullback for the team, logging 363 total carries over the course of 96 games for 1,420 rushing yards and 17 total touchdowns (rushing and receiving). His best season came in 2009, when he had a brief run as the team’s feature back and recorded 613 rushing yards and four rushing TDs.
With the retirement, the Falcons will clear Snelling’s $1.375MM base salary from their books for 2014, leaving $358K in dead money.