First reported by FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer, the Atlanta Falcons later confirmed that defensive tackle Peria Jerry has announced his retirement from football. Jerry was a former first-round selection of the Falcons in 2009 that will most likely go down as one of the bigger draft busts in recent Falcons draft history, and perhaps the biggest one of Thomas Dimitroff’s tenure as general manager.
Jerry’s career showed promise in his first game, but was injured in his second and missed the rest of his rookie season. His return in 2010 left him as a reserve to then rookie Corey Peters, a role that Jerry continued for the remainder of his career. Jerry would fill in at various times when a starter was injured or suspended, starting four games in 2011 in replacement for Jonathan Babineaux and nine in 2012 due to an injury to Peters. This past year, he started a career-high 14 games thanks largely to the absence of defensive end Kroy Biermann. Jerry finished with career highs of 33 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He finishes his career with 29 career starts in 64 appearances, with 67 tackles and 5.5 sacks.
Jerry was a highly-touted prospect coming out of Ole Miss in 2009, having earned All-American honors with seven sacks as a senior. But Jerry’s college career was also marred by injury, having missed time due to ankle and knee injuries dating back to his prep career.
Jerry was potentially on the bubble this summer after re-signing with the Falcons this offseason. His departure could open up opportunities for Travian Robertson and Cliff Matthews to make the roster.