4:50pm: A source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link) that Davis intends to pay back his unearned signing bonus money. As Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap tweets, that’s a significant amount, totaling about $4.666MM.
4:24pm: Taking to Twitter, Davis reiterates that this retirement may not be permanent, writing, “I’ll be back in a year or so.. I’ll be 26 or 27 years old. I’m taking this time to allow my Brain and Body time to heal and recoup.”
4:18pm: Yet another 49ers player has unexpectedly announced his retirement this offseason. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Facebook link), offensive tackle Anthony Davis is stepping away from the NFL, as he announced in a statement.
“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,” Davis said in his statement. “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’m simply doing what’s best for my body as well as my mental health at this time in my life.”
It’s been an eventful offseason for the Niners, starting with the long-anticipated departure of head coach Jim Harbaugh. Since then, linebackers Chris Borland and Patrick Willis decided to retire despite still likely having a few good years of production ahead of them. Longtime defensive lineman Justin Smith also announced his retirement, though that wasn’t a real surprise.
As for Davis, the 25-year-old was San Francisco’s first-round pick in 2010, coming off the board 11th overall. Since then, he has started 71 games at right tackle for the team, playing all 16 regular season contests in his first four years before being limited to seven games in 2014. Davis dealt with hamstring and knee issues, and also battled concussion problems, which may have contributed to his decision to step away from the game.
Of course, Davis’ statement, which refers to taking “a year or so” away from the game, suggests that perhaps his decision to retire won’t be permanent. For now, the Niners will likely move him to their reserve/retired list, and if he decides to return to the NFL, he’ll remain under team control. Davis had five years remaining on his 49ers contract, which runs through the 2019 season.