NFC West Notes: Lee, Davis, Washington

Anthony Davissudden retirement announcement and caveat this may be a boxing-style sabbatical rather than a move similar to ex-teammates Patrick Willis or Chris Borland will feature financial ramifications.

Should Davis indeed return next season or in 2017, it will likely cost him the signing bonus money he intends to pay back to the 49ers, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The 49ers will place the right tackle on their reserve/retired list, retaining his rights and locking in his 2015 salary for the next season in which Davis plays, if he does. But Florio notes the 2011 labor deal doesn’t contain language about a player returning to the game’s ability to recoup signing bonus money he returned, which could lead to the 49ers and the NFL management council to argue that the bonus money is gone forever. In Davis’ case, that figure is $4.66MM.

NFL Insiders also suggest to Florio that Davis could have said his 2014 concussion was limiting his ability to play and force the 49ers to either cut him or place him on injured reserve instead of him retiring with a much bigger hint at a return to the game than most who retire offer, complicating this process.

Here are a few other Saturday-afternoon items from the NFC West.

  • Retirement, trades or free agency have besieged the 49ers’ Pro Bowl contingent of its roster, which was one of the league’s healthier stables last season, writes Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. The team’s trade of Andy Lee marked the fifth Pro Bowl performer — after Mike Iupati and Frank Gore‘s traditional exits, and the retirements of Patrick Willis and Justin Smith — San Francisco has lost in the past three months.
  • The 33-year-old Lee, midway through a six-year, $20.5MM extension he signed in 2012, will make $2.55MM this season in Cleveland, but his cap figure balloons to $4.13MM by 2018, writes Branch. Assuming Lee’s spot, 21-year-old draftee Bradley Pinion led all Power 5 conference punters with 33 induced fair catches, according to Pro Football Focus. The ex-Clemson punter who’s stood out this offseason with the 49ers flashed potential in high school with a 100-yard kickoff at a national showcase.
  • Daryl Washington‘s murky future remains, especially after the Cardinals linebacker’s agent hasn’t exactly been timely with paperwork, reports Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. Eligible for reinstatement 60 days prior to the one-year anniversary of his suspension (May 30, 2014), Washington has yet to force any action from Roger Goodell since agent Jordan Woy hasn’t submitted his reinstatement application. Woy plans to do so soon, but as Somers points out, a player who’s met the criteria to return and has the desire to do so would’ve probably had the application submitted the first day it was permitted.
  • The Rams are shuttling three candidates into first-team reps, with Tim Barnes, Demetrius Rhaney and Barrett Jones vying to replace Scott Wells, reports Joe Lyons of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Second-year pro Rhaney, from Tennessee State, received the first snapping work on Friday after spending last season on IR.
  • Greg Robinson‘s shed 20 pounds and is working out at 319 currently, notes Lyons. The 2014 No. 2 overall pick is still recovering from offseason toe surgery.
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