clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Anthony Davis owes the 49ers some cash

New, comments

The 49ers offensive lineman retired for a second time, and owes the team more money.

The San Francisco 49ers announced Anthony Davis’ retirement four days ago, marking his second retirement in as many calendar years. Injury issues and head concerns seemed to factor into his decisions, and odds are pretty good this will be it for Davis.

In choosing to retire, Anthony Davis foregoes any remaining base salary, but he also has to pay back portions of signing bonus money for years not played. Pro Football Talk got hold of the numbers and is reporting Davis owes the 49ers $2.735 million in choosing to retire. PFT reported Davis paid $1.667 million a year ago, and this additional money will be on top of it. It is worth noting that had Davis remained retired and not attempted this brief comeback, he would have owed all this money anyway, plus a little extra for the three games he actually ended up on the 53-man roster.

When a player receives a signing bonus, he gets all the money up front, but for cap purposes it prorates over the life of the contract or five years, whichever is shorter. Davis received a $7.5 million signing bonus, and that prorates to $1.5 million per year. Since he played three games in 2016, he does not owe back signing bonus money prorated for the first three games. $1.5 million is $88,235 per week. We subtract out three weeks of that and get $1.235 million of signing bonus money for 2016. Additionally, if he remains retired through next year, he would still owe $1.5 million for that season.

The NFL’s transaction sheet for September 27 reports the 49ers placed Davis on the “Exempt/Left Squad” list. PFT explained what that means for purposes of playing this season:

Unless Davis returns to the team and properly retires, he’ll be unable to play for the 49ers or anyone else in 2016. He has been placed on the exempt/left squad list, the team has sent Davis the so-called five-day letter, and upon the expiration of the five days he’ll be placed on the reserve/left squad list, which shuts the player down for the year.

It seems unlikely he will return and “properly retire” since he does not seem concerned about playing again this season, or ever again. PFT gives him credit for choosing to simply walk away, rather than do the bare minimum to collect a paycheck. Whether anybody wants to praise that or not, I’m fine with Davis realizing he does not have it in him to deal with the long-term health implications of football. Sure, I would have preferred he realized that and not come back for training camp, but I’m fine with it. Maybe it would have impacted roster cuts, maybe not. For now, it’s behind us and the 49ers will get a little bit of cap credit (not exactly a huge deal) moving forward.