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Maurice Jones-Drew retires from the NFL

Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew runs to the end zone for a touchdownin the first quarter of the Jaguars victorious road trip to Houston.
Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew runs to the end zone for a touchdownin the first quarter of the Jaguars victorious road trip to Houston. (AP photo by Patric Schneider)

OAKLAND, Calif. – Former Jaguar Maurice Jones-Drew announced his retirement from the NFL on twitter this afternoon.

"To my fans, and NFL fans worldwide, you are the absolute greatest!, Jones said. Football has been a central part of my life for the past 24 years but now I am excited about and looking forward to the next chapter of my life."

Jones-Drew played for nine years in the league after being the Jaguars second round pick in 2006. He said he wore number 32 for the 32 teams who passed on him in the first round.

Jones-Drew spent his first eight years with the Jaguars. He rushed for 8,071 yards with 68 rushing touchdowns and added 11 touchdowns receiving in his eight years in Jacksonville.

Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley released a statement Thursday night calling Jones-Drew one of the great Jaguars.

"He was always a fan favorite and he earned that every day with the way he immersed himself in the community, Bradley said. The traits that stick out about Maurice are his competitiveness, determination and toughness. He is a role model to so many for the way he played each game Sunday."

Jones-Drew ended his career in the Oakland playing for his hometown Raiders this past season. He started the first game and rode the bench the rest of the season.