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Safety Ricardo Allen announces retirement after eight-year career

Following seven years with the Atlanta Falcons and a campaign with the Cincinnati Bengals, defensive back Ricardo Allen is calling it a career.

The Bengals safety announced his retirement Sunday via Instagram.

"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. 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, 30, finished his career playing in his second Super Bowl, which saw his Bengals lose to the Rams, 23-20.

He only had nine snaps -- all on special teams -- in the game.

Prior to joining the Bengals ahead of the 2021 campaign on a one-year deal, Allen spent seven years with the Falcons, who drafted him out of Purdue in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Allen became a starter in Year 2 and in his third season tallied a career-high 90 tackles to go with two interceptions as he helped the Falcons to a Super Bowl berth against the eventual-champion New England Patriots.

After starting 12 games in his final year with the Falcons in 2020, he started just one game this past season for the Bengals as a backup to Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell. He missed time due to a hand injury, played in 14 games with one start and totaled 15 tackles.

For his career, Allen tallied 77 starts in 91 games played with 355 tackles, 11 interceptions and 26 passes defended.

"I'm blessed to be able to take the cleats off on my terms with a true burning love for the game and pretty cool opportunities within reach," Allen wrote.

Those opportunities would seem to be in the coaching arena as Allen added, "I am ready to take all of this knowledge and to help guide the next generation of men to achieve their goals, while ultimately, we all achieve our goals together," before writing, "when you see me on the other side with the head set on."

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