This has been an offseason of turmoil for the San Francisco 49ers, John Harbargh left for Michigan, Their leading rusher Frank Gore left for Indianapolis,Patrick Willis announced his retirement in the prime of his career and now after one year of playing in the NFL for the 49ers Chris Boland announced his retirement at 24. What does this say about playing in the NFL?
He’s retiring at age 24 after playing just one year in the league. Borland had 107 tackles and one sack after starting in eight games and held huge promise as a future star in the NFL.
“I just honestly want to do what’s best for my health,” Borland said on the news program Monday night. “From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.”
Borland was drafted by the 49ers in the third round of the 2014 NFL draft after a decorated college career at the University of Wisconsin. He earned $420,000 for his first year of play, collected a $617,000 signing bonus and figured to earn millions more as an anchor for San Francisco’s linebacking corps, particularly after Patrick Willis retired last week due to injury concerns.
Borland, who says he’s had two diagnosed concussions, acknowledged to “OTL” that he could have rolled the dice and hoped to steer clear of head injuries for at least a few years. But he also expressed a desire to be “proactive” and to “live a long healthy life.”
“I thought about what I could accomplish in football, but for me personally, when you read about Mike Webster and Dave Duerson and Ray Easterling [all players who died early deaths and whose autopsies revealed brain disease], you read all these stories and to be the type of player I want to be in football, I think I’d have to take on some risks that as a person I don’t want to take on,” Borland said.
” I just thought to myself, ‘What am I doing?'” Borland said. “Is this how I’m going to live my adult life, banging my head, especially with what I’ve learned and knew about the dangers?”
San Francisco GM Trent Baalke said the team was caught off guard by the announcement.
“While unexpected, we certainly respect Chris’ decision,” Baalke told NFL Network insider Ian Rapaport. “It was evident he put a great deal of thought into this.”