Ricardo Allen almost rode off into the sunset as every football player dreams of doing — retiring after winning the Super Bowl. Allen went to the big game with the Falcons in 2016 and the Bengals this past season, but he’ll end his career without that elusive Super Bowl ring.
Allen announced his retirement on Sunday after seven seasons in the league, giving fans and teammates a classy farewell message 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.”
A former fifth-round pick out of Purdue under Mike Smith in 2014, Allen went from practice squad to team captain during his tenure in Atlanta. He competed for a spot on the roster during training camp but was surprisingly cut, then landed on the practice squad.
After being relegated to the practice squad, Allen switched positions under Dan Quinn’s staff and secured a starting safety spot. The rest is history. Allen was a four-time team captain and 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee during his time with the Falcons.
Allen recorded a career-high 90 tackles in his third season on his way to the Falcons lone Super Bowl berth since the 1998 season. He finished his career in Atlanta in 2020, starting 12 games, and would go on to start just one game for the Bengals this season. Missing time due to a hand injury, Allen only played in 14 games and totaled 15 tackles. He tallied 77 starts for his career 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.
And it seems those opportunities could turn to coaching, “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.”