Peria Jerry, former Falcons first-round pick, retiring


The Atlanta Falcons drafted Peria Jerry with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Five years later, Jerry has decided to retire.

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The team announced the decision on Thursday, which comes as a surprise because Jerry was coming off his best season. He started 14 games last year and recorded 3.5 sacks, both career highs.

Jerry will go down as one of the worst picks of the Thomas Dimitroff era in Atlanta, although he never really had a chance because of injuries. Jerry suffered a serious knee injury his rookie year and never quite recovered.

The Falcons beefed up their defensive line with authority this offseason, so this loss should not hurt too much. Then again, their 2010 first-round pick, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, is also out for the year with a torn Achilles tendon.

This is a defense that needs as much help as it can get.

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