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D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons RB Jason Snelling to retire

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After seven seasons in the NFL, Falcons running back Jason Snelling retired from the team on Tuesday.

“I have decided to retire after seven years in the NFL to spend time with my family,” Snelling said in a statement released by the team. “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 had 363 carries for 1,420 yards with eight touchdowns and a career average of 3.9 yards per carry.

The versatile runner also added 168 receptions for 1,249 yards and nine touchdowns.

In 2013, Snelling ran for 164 yards on 44 carries with one touchdown in 14 games. He also added 29 catches for 216 yards and three touchdowns in the passing game.

“Jason was a good teammate and a joy to coach,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said in a statement released by the team. “He played a number of roles for our team during his time here and was always ready when his number was called. We want to thank Jason for his contributions to our team and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Snelling started to win over offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter late in the 2012 season and received more action at fullback and running back.

His play and the return Bradie Ewing led to the team not attempting to re-sign fullback Mike Cox.

Snelling had 19 carries for 58 yards and caught 31 passes for 170 yards and one touchdown in 2012. He also had a touchdown reception against Seattle in the playoffs.

Snelling was also a key contributor on special teams, where he was tied for third on the team with five tackles in 2012. He was a seventh-round pick (244th overall) in the 2007 NFL draft out of Virginia.

He was arrested last season on traffic and drug charges last season in Winder.

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