Taylor Gabriel, the former Atlanta Falcons fan favorite, announces that his NFL career is done. The former undrafted wide receiver took to Twitter to announce his retirement in style at the age of 30.While he did not wear an Atlanta Falcons uniform long, he gave the city lots of memories during the special 2016 season in which the franchise made an unprecedented run to the Super Bowl.
Considering where he played his college ball and that he only stands at 5-foot-7, NFL teams decided they did not want to take a chance on him by drafting him.
Gabriel started his NFL career as an undrafted free agent from Abilene Christian University and got his first chance when Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator of the Browns at the time. He enticed Gabriel to come to Cleveland by promising him a roster spot, which he ended up getting.
The former Atlanta Falcons player continued to prove every critic wrong.
Shanahan ended up leaving Cleveland after one season to become the new Atlanta Falcons, offensive coordinator. The Browns ended up keeping him another year before cutting him in 2016.
The Falcons decided to take a flier on him, they claimed him off of waivers the following day. He sure did deliver
He became the third receiver in Shanahan’s explosive offense, behind Julio Jones, and Mohamed Sanu. The trio of receivers proved to be a difficult one to stop as they rode the historic offense into the super bowl.
He ended the 2016 season with 35 catches for 579 yards and 6 touchdowns. In the playoffs of the same year, he had an impressive 9 catches for 171 yards.
One of the most memorable plays in his career was this nasty route against Malcolm Butler during super bowl 51.
While his second year in Atlanta was not as good, he still put up decent numbers, recording 33 catches for 378 yards.
Following his 2017 season with the Atlanta Falcons, he finally got the money deserved. The Chicago Bears inked him to a four-year, $26 million contract.
As a Bear, he put up career-best numbers with 67 catches and 688 yards in his first season.
After 2 years with the Chicago Bears, he was released as a cap casualty, and never signed with another team.
The was hope that he may come back to the Atlanta Falcons, but it never worked out.
The Falcoholic posted an article with cheap free-agent wide receivers the Falcons could target, and Taylor Gabriel responded with a tweet hinting that he would be willing to come back to the team for a second stint.
That got a lot of Falcons fans hyped that we might see the speedy receiver back in a Falcons uniform, but now obviously that will not be happening with the announcement of his retirement.
The idea was exciting while it lasted, but we will just have to reminisce on the good times when Gabriel was torching defenses for the Atlanta Falcons.
He will forever be a legend that Atlanta Falcons fans will never forget. He truly defied expectations, as well as truly destroying Malcolm Butler’s ankles in the super bowl.