49ers C Alex Mack Mulling Retirement

Alex Mack‘s 49ers contract runs through the 2023 season, but the decorated center has not determined if he wants to play the second season of that three-year pact. Mack is considering retirement, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Both Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch are operating like Mack will be back, but as the 49ers begin their offseason program, they face the prospect of losing another offensive line starter. A former first-round Browns pick, Mack returning would mean playing a 14th NFL season. Mack has played 204 career games.

We’ve had really good communication. He’s training like he’s coming back,” Lynch said at the league’s recent owners meetings. “I won’t speak for him, but all signs are him coming back and him being part of us.”

Shanahan brought his former Falcons charge to San Francisco last year, and Mack earned his seventh Pro Bowl nod — albeit as an alternate — after playing all 17 games. The 49ers have right tackle Mike McGlinchey coming off a season-ending injury and will be breaking in a new left guard, after Laken Tomlinson‘s Jets defection. Mack coming back would certainly help the contending team, one set to begin the Trey Lance era after four-plus seasons with Jimmy Garoppolo under center.

Mack surprising the 49ers with a mid-offseason retirement would remind of Joe Staley‘s decision to hang up his cleats in April 2020. The 49ers traded for Trent Williams to patch that hole. A Mack successor could come in the draft, should it be necessary. Center should certainly be a position the 49ers consider with an early- or mid-round pick, given Mack’s hesitancy ahead of his age-37 season.

View Comments (10)