A veteran NFL player has called it a career. Ricardo Allen, who played safety for the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals recently announced his retirement via Instagram. He played in Super Bowl LI as a member of the Falcons and played in this year's Super Bowl as a member of the Bengals.
Allen is retiring at 30 years old, which is young by NFL standards. In his Instagram post, Allen said he will now focus on his family, but according to multiple reports, the Miami Dolphins have hired Allen as a special teams assistant.
"I've always wondered how it would feel giving up what most people would consider to be 'most of me', and that's being a professional athlete," Allen wrote on Instagram. "But, the truth is, I'm blessed to be able to say that it's been good. It could have been better with two Super Bowl rings, but who's complaining? Not me," his post read in part. "Dear, football career. I'm grateful for you, and I'm thankful for the opportunity you gave me to turn nothing but hard work into the foundation of a growing legacy. You've shown me it's not about how you start; it's about how you finish."
Allen joined the Bengals this past season after spending seven seasons with the Falcons. He played in 14 regular-season games for the Bengals and recorded 15 tackles. In the Super Bowl, Allen spent all his time on special teams. He played in nine special teams plays in the Super Bowl, a game where the Bengals lost to the Los Angeles Rams 23-20.
Allen was selected by the Falcons in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He started his career at cornerback but was moved to safety in 2015 when head coach Dan Quinn took over for Mike Smith. After spending the entire 2014 season inactive, Allen made his NFL debut in 2015 and recorded 69 tackles, one sack and three interceptions in his first season. The following year, Allen notched 90 tackles and two interceptions and helped the team reach the Super Bowl. The Falcons came up short of winning the title as they lost to the New England Patriots. Allen would play another four seasons with the Falcons before being released in February of 2021. He finished his NFL career with 355 tackles and 11 interceptions.
"To the Falcons organization, thank you for a great 7 years," Allen wrote. "To the Bengals organization— WOW, what a year and I can't wait to see what's coming out of there in the next years to come. To all my boys out there, I love you guys! But, just know... when you see me on the other side with the head set on, I'm throwing that s— deep!"