Peria Edward Jerry was born on August 23, 1984 in Batesville, MS where he attended South Panola High School. His cousin is former NFL linebacker Dwayne Rudd (1997-2003). He spent a year at Hargrave Military Academy after high school, and had 30 tackles and 5 sacks in 8 games before being sidelined with an ankle injury. That same ankle injury limited him as a freshman at Mississippi the next year, as he recorded 3 tackles in 6 games. As a sophomore, he recorded 22 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. He started 6 of 8 games that year, splitting his starts at left end, left defensive tackle, and nose guard. As a junior, he made the permanent move to starting left defensive tackle and earned 2nd team All-SEC honors. He finished that year with 58 tackles, 14 for loss, 3.5 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 fumble recovery. As a senior, he started 11 games, recording 49 tackles, 18 for loss, 7 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and a recovery that he ran 13 yards for a touchdown. He earned 1st team All-American and All-SEC honors. He was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round (24th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Signed by the Atlanta Falcons on July 30, 2009 ... Placed on injured reserve by Falcons with a left knee injury on September 21, 2009.
Signed a five-year deal worth a maximum of $13.25 million. It's base deal is worth $10.35 million that includes $7.555 million guaranteed. He will receive $2.4 million in playing time escalators. He has base salaries of: $310,000 (2009); $395,000 (2010); $695,000 (2011); $845,000 (2012); and $905,000 (2013). He received a $890,000 roster bonus in 2009 giving him an initial cap hit of $1.2 million. He is due a $4.42 million option bonus in 2010. There is a $1.89 million not likely to be earned incentive in the contract, and he can also increase his base salary to $2.9 million in 2013 if he reaches certain playing time qualifiers.