Joe Staley has had an accomplished career. The offensive tackle has made six Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams during his 12 seasons in the league, all with the 49ers. Staley, 34, is heading into his 13th year in the league, and is apparently undecided about a 14th year.
Staley, who is heading into the final year of his contract, hasn’t had any conversations with 49ers brass about a new deal and hasn’t decided about playing beyond this year, according to Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee. The longest-tenured member of the 49ers, Staley got a pay raise from the team last April in a gesture of good will.
“I still love the game, still feel like I can play at a high level. Still feel like I’m valued on the football team. I know it’s my last year under contract, but I’m not worried about that. I’m just going to go out there and try and do everything I can to help us win games with this team,” Staley said.
In Biderman’s piece, Staley also talks about mentoring fellow offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, the 49ers’ first round pick last year. Staley referred to McGlinchey, the ninth overall pick in the 2018 draft, as his “little brother”, which is surely a welcome sign for 49ers fans. San Francisco went through a chaotic period a few years ago, changing coaches seemingly every season, before things finally settled down with Kyle Shanahan. Last year, Staley revealed for the first time that he considered retirement amidst all the dysfunction in the organization.
Staley had another strong season last year, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ sixth-best tackle in the NFL, so the 49ers would surely welcome him back if he wants to play in 2020. For now though, San Francisco needs Staley to help keep Jimmy Garoppolo upright. Garoppolo is coming off a torn ACL, and the 49ers need him to stay healthy if they want to be competitive in 2019.
A first round pick all the way back in 2007, Staley is a 49ers legend and is of massive importance to the team. He’s set to make just over $8MM in 2019, which is a steal for the team. Given that he’s considered it in the past, retirement seems like a real possibility following this season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.