Another key starter for the San Francisco 49ers is walking away from the sport — but just for a while. Right tackle Anthony Davis, 25, announced his retirement on Friday (June 5), confirming that he won't play in any games for the remainder of 2015, reports ESPN.
"After a few years of thought, I've decided it will be best for me to take a year or so away from the NFL," he said in a statement. "This will be a time for me to allow my brain and body a chance to heal. I know many won't understand my decision, that's ok... I hope you too have the courage to live your life how you planned it when day dreaming to yourself growing up. Your life is your dream and you have the power to control that dream. I'm simply doing what's best for my body as well as my mental health at this time in my life."
While both the wording and tone of Davis' statement indicates that he is just taking a sabbatical, an official statement released by the 49ers reveals that the young athlete has "informed the team he plans to retire" from the NFL. This would make sense as Davis skipped four games last football season following a concussion.
The time off will cost him. According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, the 25-year-old will receive a pay cut after being forced to give back his $4.66 million in salary bonus money due to his sudden decision.
Though Davis is in his early 20s, he's already had quite the impact on both the 49ers and the wider NFL. He has started 71 games in just five NFL seasons. Now that he is leaving, left tackle Joe Staley and right guard Alex Boone are the only remaining starters from the team's offensive line.
Coach Jim Tomsula is already formulating a plan to replace Davis. "We've got several options," he said. "We drafted a guy and we have three guys that have experience playing the right tackle position that we feel really good about... Alex [Boone] has always been a possibility at either tackle. [Erik] Pears has obviously played more tackle, right tackle, in this league than he's played guard, so we feel really good there."
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