San Francisco 49ers right tackle Anthony Davis has decided to retire. The 25-year-old Davis is widely regarded as one of the best right tackles in the NFL, and he becomes the fourth 49er to retire this offseason.
Davis joins Patrick Willis, Chris Borland and Justin Smith in retirement. At 25, Davis' announcement comes as a surprise to many. Like Borland, Davis made the decision based heavily on his long-term health. While he is walking away from football this season, there is a chance he could return. In a statement announcing the decision, Davis said he will "take a year or so away from the NFL." Here is the full statement, via Adam Schefter of ESPN:
After a few years of thought, I've decided it will be best for me to take a year or so away from the NFL. This will be a time for me to allow my Brain and Body a chance to heal. I know many won't understand my decision, that's ok.
I hope you too have the courage to live your life how you planned it when day dreaming to yourself growing up. Your Life is Your dream and you have the power to control that dream. Im simply doing what's best for my body as well as my mental health at this time in my life.
Whether he decides to return down the road remains to be seen. But it appears he will sit out at least the 2015 season and possibly longer. A first-round pick in 2010, Davis has been a key contributor for the 49ers. He stepped into the starting lineup as a rookie and has consistently performed well. He started every game during the first four years of his career. Injuries derailed his 2014 season and h,e was limited to just seven games.
Davis signed a five-year, $33 million extension in 2013 and had five years remaining on his deal. He was scheduled to earn a base salary of $1.85 million next season, according to Spotrac. His deal included a $7.5 million signing bonus, some of which he might be required to return to the team.
The absence of Davis on the offensive line will leave another major hole for the 49ers to fill next season. Coming off an 8-8 year with a coaching change and several key departures, 2015 figures to be a major transition year for San Francisco.