Anthony Davis

This Date In Transactions History: 49ers’ Anthony Davis Retires

Five years ago today, 49ers tackle Anthony Davis announced his retirement from the NFL at the age of 25. Davis’ decision came as a surprise to everyone, though he left the door open to returning at some point in the future. 

Davis was the Niners’ first-round pick in 2010, coming off the board No. 11 overall. In his first four seasons, he started 71 games at right tackle and played in all 16 regular season contests. Then, in 2014, he was limited to seven games thanks to hamstring, knee, and concussion problems.

Davis was just the latest in a string of 49ers departures that offseason. First, head coach Jim Harbaugh exited. Then, linebackers Chris Borland and Patrick Willis retired, despite still likely having a few good years of production ahead of them. Davis was similarly concerned about the toll the game had taken on him, though he attempted to come back to football the following year in 2016.

Davis and the Niners weren’t quite on the same page. Before the draft, Davis took to Twitter and suggested that the Niners should take an offensive tackle in the Top 10. Then, he took an even more direct shot at the team: “I do not want to work with a front office or anyone else who seemingly doesn’t want to win as bad as I do.

The Niners, meanwhile, weren’t so thrilled with him either. When asked about Davis’ potential return, 49ers offensive line coach Pat Flaherty said that nothing would be handed to him.

And he knows this, coming from me, if he wants to play, then he’s got to come back and prove he can play,” Flaherty said. “It’s got to come from within. You can tell him exactly what I just said, ‘Listen, you’ll have an opportunity to play. But that’s all it is. You decided for whatever reason to retire. If you come back in the game, nothing is going to be handed to you. You’re going to have to work your tail off.’ And the conversation that I’ve had back when I first got here, was he was acceptable to that. Now, I don’t see him. I don’t know why. So I can’t answer that one.”

Davis’ return to the Niners lasted only one game. After appearing in the season opener against the Rams, Davis retired for a second time. In May of last year, Davis said he wanted to return to the field and the 49ers released him from his deal. Davis, 31 in October, didn’t sign with another club and remains a free agent today, though it’s not clear if he still has interest in playing.

49ers Release Anthony Davis

The 49ers have released offensive tackle Anthony Davis, according to Field Yates of (on Twitter). With that, the 29-year-old is now a free agent and eligible to speak to other teams. The NFL reinstated Davis from the reserve-retired list Tuesday.

Davis announced his retirement after the 2014 season and returned for one game in 2016 before retiring once again, citing concerns about concussions. But, earlier this month, Davis filed paperwork for reinstatement.

This does throw an interesting lineman into the free agent mix, based strictly on his work when he was a full-time starter. But that was five years ago.

The No. 11 overall pick in the 2010 draft, Davis played 16 games as San Francisco’s starting right tackle for four straight seasons. He started in each of the 49ers’ three NFC championship games earlier this decade and Super Bowl XLVII. But since the end of the 2013 season, Davis has played just eight games.

Coming into the NFL as a 20-year-old rookie nine years ago, Davis will not turn 30 until midway through this coming season. But it will obviously be difficult for a team that considers him to be convinced he will stick with football. That said, any Davis deal would likely qualify as a flier and be a low-risk addition, financially speaking. The Saints signed Derek Newton last year, after the former Texans right tackle starter missed more than two years due to severe knee injuries. Without those kind of injury concerns, it would not be too difficult to see a team inquiring about Davis.

Former 11th Overall Pick Anthony Davis Attempting Comeback

Anthony Davis is attempting another comeback. Not the NBA superstar, but the former 49ers offensive tackle. Davis is un-retiring and has filed paperwork to be reinstated by the league, per Mike Florio of

Davis was the 11th overall pick of the 49ers back in 2010, so this is pretty notable. The Rutgers product became an immediate starter in San Francisco, starting all 16 games at right tackle in each of his first four seasons in the league. He started for the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. After the 2014 season, Davis announced his intention to retire, citing his health as the main reason for walking away.

He briefly attempted a comeback after the 2015 season, and returned to the 49ers. He played in just one game in 2016 before stepping away again. Davis sent a letter to commissioner Roger Goodell explaining his decision, which Florio obtained. In it, he seemed to indicate that concerns about concussions were at least partially what was keeping him away.

“On January 24, 2019, I read articles by 3 different sources pertaining to there being a significant decrease in concussions in the NFL, down by 29 percent in the 2018 season,” Davis wrote. “Excited to see that the changes you and your staff have made to the rules, and the allowance of safer equipment to be worn has had a positive effect, I confided with my family and on January 28, 2019 I made the decision that I’d love to play in the NFL again.”

Davis sustained a concussion in Week 1 of 2016, so this makes sense. He hasn’t played in a few years, but he’s still only 29. He’s always been high on talent, so he should be able to get a look from somebody assuming he follows through with his decision.

Extra Points: Rams, 49ers, Jets, Draft

Rams owner Stan Kroenke only relocated the franchise from St. Louis to Los Angeles last winter, but his plan to swap Missouri for California went back several years, ex-head coach Jeff Fisher told ESPN Radio (via Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). On taking the Rams’ head coaching job in 2012, Fisher recalled, “I decided on L.A., or St. Louis, at the time, knowing that there was going to be a pending move.”

More from around the sport:

  • Former 49ers offensive lineman Anthony Davis, who retired for the second time in September, took to Twitter on Christmas to blast some of the team’s brass, per Katie Dowd of the San Francisco Chronicle. Regarding CEO Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke, the outspoken Davis commented in a now-deleted tweet, “I don’t want to play for Jed, Trent or [offensive line coach Pat Flaherty] though. They’re all full of [expletive].” Davis shared a more positive assessment of head coach Chip Kelly, calling him a “smart, very calculated, interesting guy,” though he’s unsure if Kelly’s offense can work in the NFL.
  • Quarterback Christian Hackenberg needs to start for the Jets in the season finale against Buffalo, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News opines. After Bryce Petty landed on IR, the Jets are slated to start Ryan Fitzpatrick in the final game of the season. However, it would behoove them to find out what they have in their second-round rookie. On the flipside, wide receiver Brandon Marshall would rather not see Hackenberg on the field yet. “Why would you want to do that to that kid? There used to be a time back in the day where quarterbacks had time to sit on the bench and really learn,” Marshall told Kimberley A. Martin of Newsday (Twitter link).
  • Wyoming running back Brian Hill announced on Twitter that he will skip his senior season and enter the draft. After rushing for 1,860 yards and averaging 5.3 yards per carry with 22 touchdowns, Hill figures to draw lots of interest. In a deep running back class, it will be interesting to see where he comes off the board. Stars like Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, D’Onta Foreman, and Christian McCaffrey all figure to slot ahead of Hill.
  • The Bills dominated the news Tuesday. Here’s a recap: The Doug Whaley-led franchise changed both its head coach and quarterback entering Week 17. Interim head coach Anthony Lynn and a couple others have since emerged as possibilities to permanently take over for the ousted Rex Ryan.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Extra Points: Browns, 49ers, Patriots, Cardinals

Some assorted notes from around the NFL…

  • The Browns tried out defensive end Sterling Bailey and wideouts Antwan Goodley and Mitch Mathews, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
  • After retiring, Anthony Davis owes the 49ers quite a bit of money, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. Davis owes $1.235MM for 2016, which is 14/17th of his salary for the year. Then, if he remains retired, he’ll owe $1.5MM in 2017. The lineman is already familiar with the process of refunding San Francisco after giving back $1.667MM in 2015. Davis could return to football at some point, but it sounds like he is over the day-to-day grind that it takes to play in the NFL.
  • Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was asked how long the team would keep punter Drew Butler on the active roster. “As long as we can,” the coach responded (viaFox Sports 910’s Mike Jurecki on Twitter). “That will all depend on other injuries.” The Cardinals recently signed punter Ryan Quigley to fill in for the injured Butler, who’s battling an injured ankle.
  • Chris Long‘s tenure with the Patriots doesn’t need to be a “one-year fling,” writes Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. Of course, the defensive end gave a very Belichickian response when discussing his future with the franchise. “One way to get yourself in trouble as a football player is to think past this week or today,” Long said. “You can’t take anything for granted as far as going out and practicing, going to play on Sundays. If you keep things one day at a time and you keep it narrow, I mean, there’s nowhere I’d rather be today. That’s the way I come to work every day.” Long will be earning $2.37MM this season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/27/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The 49ers officially placed offensive lineman Anthony Davis on the exempt/left squad list after he retired yesterday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Davis no longer counts against San Francisco’s 53-man roster.
  • The Cardinals announced that they have released long snapper Kameron Canaday, placed tight end Troy Niklas on IR, and released safety Marqui Christian. Christian, a Midwestern State product, was a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft.
  • The Giants announced that they have re-signed cornerback Michael Hunter. The club created a roster spot by placing Shane Vereen on injured reserve after he suffered a triceps injury.
  • The Bills waived kicker Jordan Gay, according to a team announcement. Gay is a kickoff specialist, and he’s never attempted a field goal during regular season action.
  • The Redskins are promoting offensive lineman Vinston Painter to the active roster, Master Tesfatsion of The Washington Post tweets. Painter will add depth to the front five while left guard Shawn Lauvao deals with an injury.
  • The Panthers cut safety Marcus Ball, per Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Defensive end Ryan Delaire has been placed on IR with a knee injury. Carolina needed two roster spots for the newly-signed Michael Griffin and Kyle Love.
  • The Cowboys will sign offensive lineman Emmett Cleary following the long-term injury to guard La’el Collins, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link).
  • The Saints waived wide receiver Kyle Prater from injured reserve, Nick Underhill of The Advocate tweets.

49ers OL Anthony Davis Retires – Again

7:32pm: Davis’ retirement stems somewhat from the concussion he suffered earlier this season. “I just want to keep my time and mind intact,” Davis posted on Twitter. He suffered a concussion in practice Sept. 15, per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle, and didn’t practice with the 49ers after that injury.

6:41pm: Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. The 49ers announced that offensive lineman Anthony Davis is retiring from the NFL. Anthony Davis (vertical)

Davis, a first-round pick in 2010, originally announced his retirement during the summer of 2015, citing injury concerns. He returned to the 49ers this offseason and it’s not quite clear if both sides were happy with the reunion. New coach Chip Kelly asked Davis to move over to the interior line and he may or may not have been acting in protest when he missed a crucial practice prior to the season-opener.

Davis, 27 in October, has not seen the field since SF’s strong debut against the Rams. Prior to tonight’s surprising announcement, he was considered to be questionable for this week’s matchup against the Cowboys due to concussion-like symptoms. Davis missed nine games in 2014 due to injury and called his retirement a break for his body and brain.

The Rutgers product has had an unusual career to say the least, but he is ostensibly putting his long-term health ahead of his football aspirations with today’s announcement. We here at PFR wish Davis the best in retirement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Anthony Davis Unlikely To Play Week 2

After playing in his first game since 2014, 49ers offensive tackle Anthony Davis will likely miss this weekend’s contest against the Panthers. According to Matt Barrows of, Davis suffered a concussion during practice this week and has been ruled out for Sunday’s game.

Anthony Davis (vertical)It’s been a hectic start of the season for the 26-year-old. The lineman ended his brief retirement this offseason, but he reportedly missed a crucial practice prior to his team’s season-opener. Davis’ concerns apparently stemmed from his displeasure at playing offensive guard, although the lineman and coach Chip Kelly described the absence as a “miscommunication.” Davis ultimately served as the team’s reserve offensive tackle during their first game.

Davis, a first-round pick in 2010, had started all 71 of his NFL appearances prior to last weekend’s game. The lineman had originally announced his retirement during the summer of 2015, citing injury concerns.

With Davis out of the picture for this weekend’s game, the 49ers will likely rely on Trenton Brown and rookie John Theus to cover the offensive tackle spots.

Extra Points: 49ers, Browns, Saints, Fins, Lions

49ers offensive lineman Anthony Davis wasn’t willing to speak at length Wednesday about last weekend’s retirement rumors, offering that his absence came down to “miscommunication” (via Matt Maiocco of “Just leave it and let it fester,” said Davis, who was a backup for the 49ers’ 28-0 win over the Rams on Monday. That was Davis’ first game since 2014, as the 26-year-old took a hiatus from football last season. It was also the only appearanced he hasn’t started in since the 49ers chose him in the first round of the 2010 draft. Davis had logged 71 consecutive starts entering Week 1.

More from around the NFL as Wednesday wraps up:

  • First-year Browns head coach Hue Jackson is at the helm of of a rebuilding team that many expect to be the NFL’s worst this season. That didn’t stop Jackson from making some bold declarations Wednesday. “The fans might not like me for a while, but they’re going to love me here pretty soon,” said Jackson (per Mary Kay Cabot of “We’re going to win a championship here for the Cleveland Browns,” he added. The Browns, who are 0-1 after a 29-10 loss in Philadelphia, haven’t won a championship since 1964, haven’t made the playoffs since 2003, and haven’t finished with more than seven victories in a season since 2007. If a turnaround comes, it’s going to take time, and Marla Ridnour of wonders if owner Jimmy Haslam is patient enough to stick with Jackson through the club’s growing pains. Although Haslam has fired three general managers, three head coaches, two presidents and a CEO since taking over the Browns in 2012, he offered a glowing assessment of Jackson on Wednesday. “Hue relates well to everybody in the building and keeps everybody in the building fired up, which is important because your head coach is and should be the face of the organization, so he does a great job there. For the first time since we’ve been here, everybody’s on the same page.”
  • The Saints worked out return man Jeff Henderson on Wednesday, according to Howard Balzer (Twitter link). Henderson, who tried to a earn a spot with the Chiefs in May, won a gold medal in the long jump at this year’s Olympics.
  • Wide receiver Justin Hunter has taken a pay cut since the Dolphins claimed him off waivers from the Titans earlier this month, tweets Field Yates of ESPN. Hunter’s new 2016 salary is $675K, down from the $1,114,656 he was supposed to rake in this season. The fourth-year man will have a chance to collect $350K in incentives, though, and he landed a $52,267 bonus.
  • Along with he previously reported Nate Washington, the Lions auditioned a pair of other receivers – Mekale McKay and Levi Norwood – and quarterback Philip Sims on Wednesday, per Balzer (Twitter link).
  • Agent Ben Dogra will serve a six-month suspension and pay $25K to the Gene Upshaw Players Assistance Trust for an undisclosed violation, reports Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Daily. The NFLPA’s Committee on Agent Regulation & Discipline levied the punishment on Dogra, though it initially voted in January to revoke his certification and give him the right to re-apply after serving a three-year ban and paying a $200K fine. Dogra was formerly the co-CEO of Relatively Football, which relaunched as Independent Sports and Entertainment in June. It’s unclear if Dogra is with Independent, writes Mullen.

Anthony Davis Returns To 49ers

Offensive lineman Anthony Davis returned to 49ers practice this morning, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle, and will likely be available for the team’s Monday night contest against the Rams. Davis was reportedly considering retirement (again) yesterday, but this news would seem to end any talk of Davis hanging it up.Anthony Davis

[RELATED: Keshawn Martin Visits 49ers]

Davis, a career right tackle, was expected to move to guard following his reinstatement to the NFL. That doesn’t appear to be the plan any more, according to Niners Nation, which reports that Andrew Tiller will start at right guard, while Davis will serve only as the San Francisco’s backup offensive tackle. Reports yesterday indicated that Davis had some reservations about moving inside, which is a different outlook than he expressed earlier this summer.

“I can play anywhere on the line,” said Davis in August. “Like I was saying, we want the best five on the field, and Trent is not going to play guard. He’s a giant man and I knew I could adapt to guard. I feel like that would help us.”

Davis, 26, was the 49ers’ first-round pick in 2010, coming off the board No. 11 overall. Prior to his retirement, he started 71 games at right tackle for SF, 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 temporarily in 2015.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.