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Falcons' Weiner retires
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FLOWERY BRANCH -- Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Todd Weiner has announced his retirement from the National Football League. Weiner competed in the league for 11 seasons with the Falcons (2002-08) and Seattle Seahawks (1998-2001).

"I want to thank (Owner & CEO) Arthur Blank, (general manager) Thomas Dimitroff and coach (Mike) Smith for the opportunities they gave me to play here," Weiner said. "The Falcons are a first-class organization and due to the positive experiences my family and I have had here in Atlanta, we will continue to live and be active members of this community."

Weiner started in 118 of 152 career games and was a stout offensive lineman who was recently voted to the USA Today All-Joe Team after starting in 11 games while battling a knee injury in 2008.

He guided a Falcons rushing attack which led the NFL in 2004, 2005, 2006, and ranked second in the league in 2008. Last season, the Falcons averaged 152.7 rushing yards per game as running back Michael Turner ranked second in the NFL in individual rushing while topping the 1,000-yard plateau forthe first time in his career.

Weiner also paced a rushing game that totaled 23 rushing touchdowns last season, a franchise record that tied a 2002 mark. Atlanta's offensive line allowed only 17 sacks in 2008, a franchise record, as rookie quarterback Matt Ryan became one of only two rookie quarterbacks in the NFL to ever throw for over 3,000 yards in his first season (Peyton Manning, 1998).

"Todd Weiner epitomizes toughness, grit and everything a championship caliber football player should be," Smith said. "As good of a player as Todd was for the Falcons, he was an even better person in our community through a variety of highly publicized charitable endeavors working with children. He will be sorely missed by our football team on and off the field, but one thing is for certain - Todd will always be a Falcon."

Weiner is also known for his dedication throughout the community and this season was voted as the Falcons nominee for the 2008 Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

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