In the 49ers’ statement concerning Chris Borland‘s retirement, GM Trent Baalke expressed his thanks to the young linebacker. “While unexpected, we certainly respect Chris’ decision,” said Baalke. “From speaking with Chris, it was evident that he had put a great deal of thought into this decision. He was a consummate professional from day one and a very well respected member of our team and community. Chris is a determined young man that overcame long odds in his journey to the NFL and we are confident he will use the same approach to become very successful in his future endeavors. We will always consider him a 49er and wish him all the best.”
Let’s take a look at some more reaction to tonight’s shocking announcement…
- Borland is retiring due to concussion concerns, but he also suffered from shoulder injuries in college and at the end of last season. Multiple scouts told John Middlekauf of CSNBayArea.com (Twitter link) that Borland’s shoulder issues were “no joke,” so perhaps those ailments also played a role in his decision.
- Indeed, many clubs thought Borland’s career would be cut short due to those shoulder injuries, adds Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter).
- Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) believes Borland could move into coaching, calling him a “very smart player who loves the game.”
- Though Borland’s announcement might not lead other players to retire in their primes, Andrew Brandt of Sports Illustrated (via Twitter) thinks it could make players less inclined to hide concussions and other head injuries.
- If the 49ers are looking for a replacement at linebacker, they should contact the Ravens about Arthur Brown or the Eagles about DeMeco Ryans, tweets Miller.
- Middlekauf (via Twitter) wonders if San Francisco could attempt to recoup a portion of Borland’s signing bonus, which they’re probably entitled to do. The 49ers would be going after less than $500K, however, so I doubt they’d risk the public relations headache of doing so.