Maurice Jones-Drew calls it a career

Bay Area native Maurice Jones-Drew announced his retirement from the NFL Thursday after a nine-year NFL career.

Jones-Drew was signed by Oakland last offseason, and was thrilled to be playing for the team he grew up rooting for. A native of Antioch and graduate of De La Salle High School in Concord, Jones-Drew finishes his career with 1,847 carries for 8,167 yards and 68 rushing touchdowns. He also had 346 receptions for 2,944 yards and 11 TDs in the passing game.

In other moves Friday, the Raiders continued their roster purge, letting go of linebacker Nick Roach and safety Usama Young, and releasing defensive end LaMarr Woodley, which had been expected for some time.

Roach was brought in from Chicago in 2012, and was a solid defensive leader on a unit without much talent. It’s plausible that the Raiders defense would have performed much better in 2014 if he were healthy.

Young was a backup on a bad unit, and his NFL career may be winding down.

Jones-Drew issued a personal statement on Twitter:

“After much discussion with my family and business team during the offseason, I’ve decided to retire from the National Football League. The past nine years were absolutely amazing? I’ll be forever grateful to the countless people who have assisted me throughout me NFL journey. …  Football has been a central part of my life for the past 24 years. But now I’m excited about and looking forward to the next chapter of my life.”

Oakland now has close to $70 million in salary cap room, and that will leap to almost $76 million once quarterback Matt Schaub is released. That number could climb to $80 million with some other relatively straight-forward cuts.


Jason Leskiw is SFBay’s Oakland Raiders beat writer and member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the Oakland Raiders.