After 49ers linebacker Chris Borland announced his retirement on Monday, questions arose regarding whether San Francisco would attempt to recoup a portion of his signing bonus, which the club has a right to do. Borland ended any speculation about the matter today, telling CBS’ Face the Nation that he would repay 3/4 of his bonus to the 49ers (link via Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com).
“I’m only taking the money I’ve earned,” said Borland. “To me it’s just about health and nothing else. I never played the game for money or attention. I love football. I’ve had a blast. I don’t regret the last 10 years of my life at all. I’d do it over the exact same way.”
As such, Borland will pay the 49ers $463,077 — for salary cap purposes, that same amount will remain on SF’s books as dead money. The 23-year-old’s base salaries for the next three seasons, which were set to total less than $2MM, are wiped out due to his retirement. In total, Borland will have earned about $574K for his one year in the NFL.
Earlier this week, Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap examined the Borland/bonus issue, arguing that the Niners had to attempt to reclaim the money as a matter of precedent, comparing the situation to the NFLPA fighting on behalf every player, even those who have committed crimes.