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Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday, Raiders running back, Maurice Jones-Drew, made it official in a tweet that he is retiring from the NFL. Here is that tweet:

"After much discussion with my family and business team during this offseason, I've decided to retire from the National Football League," Jones-Drew announced. "The past 9 years were absolutely amazing! I'll be forever grateful to the countless people who have assisted me throughout my NFL journey. To my fans, and NFL fans worldwide, you are the absolute greatest! But for you, our league would not exist. 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."

He retires after nine NFL seasons, the first eight with the Jacksonville Jaguars and last season in Oakland.

Coming to Oakland was a homecoming for MJD, who was born in Oakland and went to high school at De LaSalle in Concord.

The former All Pro back was released by the Jaguars after last season when he averaged a career-low 3.3 yards per carry. Last season he barely saw the field for the Raiders and when he did, he averaged just 2.2 yards per carry, gaining a total of 96 yards on 43 carries.

One of the offseason questions was whether new head coach Jack Del Rio, who he played for in Jacksonville, would want him to return. Jones-Drew was due $2.5 million next season which now comes off the salary cap free and clear, putting the Raiders current total available under the salary cap at $57 million.