Six-time Pro-Bowler and longtime offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers Joe Staley announced his retirement on Saturday shortly after the Niners acquired Trent Williams from the Washington Redskins.
Williams was traded during the third day of the NFL Draft in exchange for a fifth-round pick this year and a third-round pick next year, fueling speculation that Staley would take a backseat.
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Staley, 35, wasted no time and issued a statement on social media confirming his retirement.
“After 13 incredible seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, and many recent months of consideration, it is with very mixed emotions that I am announcing my retirement from the NFL,” his statement read. “The game of Football has been a true passion of mine since I was 8, but my body is telling me it is time.”
Staley’s decision to retire appeared to be driven by health concerns.
“Football is a physical sport and I have given my all to the game and pushed my limits … (last season) was by far the most difficult on me and my family. My body was breaking down with a variety of injuries and a deteriorating neck condition and the constant discomfort affected every aspect of my life.”
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49ers CEO Jed York also issued a statement calling Staley “one of the best players in the game and a great human being.”
“Forever a member of the 49ers family, Joe holds a special place in our hearts and will go down as one of the true greats in the storied history of our franchise. I look forward to supporting him, his wife, Carrie, and his daughters, Grace and Audrey, as they embark on the next chapter of life,” he said.
Staley was drafted by the 49ers 28th overall in 2007. In his 13-season long career, Staley appeared in two Super Bowls and was selected for six Pro Bowls.
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“While I am sad and disappointed my time has come to step away, I leave with my head held high, knowing I gave my all to the game,” Staley said.