NFL: 49ers LB Chris Borland retires from NFL due to health concerns
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland surprised the NFL after he decided to retire from the NFL on Monday after just one season due to healthy concerns over potential brain trauma.
“I just honestly want to do what’s best for my health,” Borland explained. “From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.
“I feel largely the same, as sharp as I’ve ever been, for me it’s wanting to be proactive. I’m concerned that if you wait till you have symptoms, it’s too late. … There are a lot of unknowns. I can’t claim that X will happen. I just want to live a long healthy life, and I don’t want to have any neurological diseases or die younger than I would otherwise.”
The 24-year-old stated that he made the tough decision after he spoke with family members, concussion researchers, friends and current and former teammates. Borland doesn’t possess a long history of concussion outside of one suffered while playing soccer in middle school, and another one that happened in his sophomore year playing football at Wisconsin.
Since his decision, he has received much support around the league from current and former players. Former 49er safety and hall of famer Ronnie Lott called Borland’s decision “courageous,” and Patrick Willis, who also retired this offseason, defended his former teammates choice to retire.
After starring at Wisconsin, Borland had an impressive rookie season leading the team in tackles (108) and the made the NFL All-Rookie team. He also made eight starts in place of Willis. He had signed a four-year, $2.927 million contract, including a $617,436 signing bonus. His sudden retirement will likely force him to return a large chunk of his signing bonus.
Bob Garcia IV
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