Rumor: Patrick Willis to retire

The 49ers are expecting Patrick Willis to announce his retirement, according to Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports.

If this is true, this is a tremendous blow to  the 49ers now and in the future. Willis is the Niners’ third-best player after Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman.

Willis turned 30 on January 25. He missed 10 games last season because he had a strained left big toe.

This article has 32 Comments

  1. Farewell Patrick, you will always be a tackling machine.

    For Scooter – maybe this explains why the Niners were looking at that ILB from Clemson.

  2. If I was on that roster, I would consider retirement too. I can’t believe what’s going on down in Santa Clara right now…..they have blown up a perennial contender, simply because it was cost effective. I truly believe, Jed is taking orders from his parents. Cut costs, or else…..

    1. And this is their fault too, right? Just as not matching the Eagles contract for an over aged rb was a bad decision. A contract that guarantees him $14m in the first two years. We were better served signing Dockett than keeping Gore. One impacts the other. The rb position is not a premium position and this is the deepest rb draft in the past 5 years. I would rather have 2 young horses, than an old one who wants all the carries.

      These are not cost cutting moves. This is dealing with a tight cap. We have a ton of talent because of how we’ve managed the cap over the years.

      The only mistake the 49ers made was how they dealt with Harbaugh, but they aren’t criminals and Harbaugh’s no saint. Great coach, big jerk. Jed’s team, his decisions. Whoever owns them, whoever coaches them, whoever plays for them, I don’t care. I support the scarlet and gold. It is no different than my support for a perennial loser like the Cal Bears. Unwavering.

      1. Couldn’t have said it better. The niners not matching Gores offer, while sad, is just good business. Especially with Hyde waiting in the wings. Willis retiring is all about him and his injuries. I completely respect his choice and while it sucks it is not the niners fault that he has decided to retire.

      2. “A contract that guarantees him $14m in the first two years.”

        That’s not a contract number that I’ve seen in relation to Gore. What has been speculated is $5m a year for three years and $7.5 guarantee.

        Rants sound better if the facts aren’t too outlandish.

  3. Not the first great football player to have his career ended by a toe, and it certainly won’t be the last. One of my favorite 49ers. There’s not a dry eye in my house, good luck and thanks for your service in the 49er army….

    1. Willis says that he has been playing below par for a while now trying to keep his foot from blowing up on him, and that he hoped to get back to full speed with the surgery. With $20m on the table for the next two years it must be serious.

    1. WTF is reporting Justin and Patrick will be joining Harbaugh to coach the DL and LB’s at the University of Michigan….

  4. How is this a tremendous blow to the 49ers now and in the future?

    Now we have a Bowman who was better than willis before his injury……and the future Borland who is a young player with huge potential……

    we will miss his leadership……but nothing close to a tremendous blow…..

      1. Clearly not in his prime if he is choosing to retire. Also 30 yr old linebackers who have a bad wheel and rely on speed can hardly be considered in their prime whether or not they are future HOF

    1. Well we will see just how great Bowman is this year. Teams had to account for Willis which probably helped free Bowman up, this year is going to be a year where a lot of guys really have to prove themselves. That includes the defensive coaching staff as well.

    2. In Bowman and Borland you are looking at the potential for serious physical problems. There is a real possibility that Bowman’s knee will never be close to normal again, and Borland may have serious shoulder problems due to his style of play.

      Aldon Smith’s career can blow up in an instant too. We may have the shell of a great defense this year.

  5. I’m just going to hang around this ‘pity pit’ until Wednesday or Thursday; …not skip any meals, and see if the sky is really falling, and the latest rumors are proven true or false….the latest being that the Sun is going to begin to rise in the North. I believe that Kaepernick is gone, and Willis and ‘Cowboy’ will show up miraculously for the first exhibition game Nick foles will be QB, backed up by Marcus Marriota, and all will be well in Ninerville.

  6. Patrick Willis is & always has been a Class Act. No doubt the cockiness within management (specifically Baalke) along with an coaching staff lacking in experience ( for the positions which they were hired) had something to do with his decision. What “super star” would be excited about putting it all on the line for an organization in turmoil and play for a coaching staff composed mostly of rejects ? It looks as though Mr. Willis chose to go out with dignity and keep his personal opinions to himself. He’ll go down in 49er history as one of the great 49ers . It’s just too bad he never had an opportunity to play for ‘Mr. D’ !

  7. There is no free lunch. The players see the writing on the wall with the way the Dorks fired Harbaugh and sabotaged their own season.
    The players who are getting out are very lucky. This could be a 2-4 win team next year w/o Willis, Justin Smith, and Kap.

  8. Wow, a bunch of chicken littles here. On Willis, he did the team a huge favor by retiring rather than be an injury limited player drawing a huge salary. They save his cap hit, which leaves them a lot of cash for the FA market. As far as the team imploding, no one knows how the team will come together or how they will perform. Remember the Eagles “dream team” of a few years ago? Winning the offseason is a fool’s errand.

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