Former Falcons, Bears WR Retiring After 6 Seasons

A fan-favorite NFL wide receiver has decided to walk away while he is healthy. Taylor Gabriel, who helped the Atlanta Falcons reach Super Bowl LI, has retired after six seasons. His tenure comes to an end with 2,860 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.

Gabriel announced the news on Saturday with a fitting Instagram post. He posted a photo showing himself floating around in a swimming pool. "[peace emoji] Retired [rocket emoji] Undrafted Free Agent Tryout [7 Years] Thanks to all my fans and supporters love y'all," Gabriel wrote in the caption of his Instagram post. Several of his peers responded to the news with supportive messages, saying that Gabriel needs to enjoy his retirement.

A former player for Abilene Christian, Gabriel entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He signed with the Cleveland Browns and made an impact while partnering with quarterbacks Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer. Gabriel caught 36 passes for 621 yards and one touchdown.

Despite finding success early in his career, Gabriel lost his spot on the team after only two seasons. Gabriel was not unemployed for very long, however, as the Atlanta Falcons added him to the roster prior to the 2016 season. He reunited with his former offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, and became an important part of the high-powered offense.

Gabriel partnered with Matt Ryan during the regular season, catching 35 passes for 579 yards. He also scored a career-high seven total touchdowns. Once the Falcons reached the playoffs, Gabriel caught another nine passes for 171 yards. This stat line includes three receptions for 76 yards during the loss to the New England Patriots.

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Following his time with the Falcons, Gabriel joined the Chicago Bears on a four-year deal. He posted career-highs in receptions (67) and yards (688) during his first season and then scored three touchdowns in one game the following year. However, Gabriel missed seven games in 2019 due to a concussion.

The speedy wide receiver returned to full health in 2020, but the Bears cut him prior to the season. Gabriel proceeded to sit out the year over COVID-19 concerns, alongside several other high-profile NFL stars. Now he will remain away from the NFL while focusing on other pursuits.