Running back Rashad Jennings retires after 8-year career

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- NFL running back Rashad Jennings announced his retirement on Friday.

Jennings played eight seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders and New York Giants. He is retiring as a Giant.

"I feel that is where I made my staple as an NFL player, both on and off the football field," said Jennings, who was the Season 24 champion of "Dancing with the Stars" earlier this year.

Jennings, 32, rushed for 3,772 yards and 23 touchdowns in 93 career games.

He wanted to continue playing, but he went unsigned this summer and season.

The Liberty product, who has often talked about being a chubby kid until ultimately deciding as a teenager to improve his physique, is content with his career.

"I'm full. I'm complete. I'm humble. I have no regrets," he said. "If I can rewind the tape, I would do it the exact same way."

Jennings was a seventh-round pick in 2009 by the Jaguars; he was in Jacksonville for four years and spent the 2011 season on injured reserve. He enjoyed a breakthrough season for Oakland in 2013, rushing for 733 yards and a career-best six touchdowns.

His decision to sign with the Giants in 2014 is one he considers the best of his career. It provided him a full-time opportunity to start, and he reached the playoffs for the first time last season. The Giants' 38-13 playoff loss in Green Bay in January will ultimately be his final career game. Jennings had five rushes for 29 yards and a reception in that contest.

He ran for2,095 yards and 10 touchdowns in three seasons with the Giants. He gained a career-best863 rushing yards in 2015.

Playing in New York not only allowed him to reach the postseason before the end of his career. It also opened doors off the field.

Jennings, a self-described autodidact with continuously evolving hobbies, has big plans for his post-playing career. He wants to try his hand as an actor, author, poet and commentator, among other things.

He also plans to continue work with his Rashad Jennings Foundation and the NFL Players Association to give players ways to give back to their hometowns without being there.

While Jennings may be done with professional football, he's not done with the dancing.

"Potentially this dance that I fell in love with is something that I will continue, regardless of where I'm at. I actually led a dance class two days ago. So we can always do this," he said while shaking his hips.
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