Kyle’s update, 12:10 p.m. PT: Sad
It’s been a hell of a ride. Thank you pic.twitter.com/V2VB2xKDzp— Joe Staley (@jstaley74) April 25, 2020
“Here’s what helped set into motion the Trent Williams’ trade: six-time Pro Bowl and All-Decade OT Joe Staley is expected to retire due to health concerns, per league sources. The 35-year-old Staley wanted to inform the 49ers in a timely way to help find a replacement. They have.”
Ian Rapoport reported that “with Joe Staley expected to retire, San Francisco has a little extra money to play with and will help with Williams’ deal.”
Earlier in the month, NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco said on his podcast that Staley had been going to the 49ers’ facilities every day to rehab and try to get back to 100 percent. Once the global pandemic hit, there was no way for Staley to continue to rehab. That was likely a contributing factor to his decision. Nobody will truly know except Joe, though.
The longest-tenured 49er appears to have played his last game, and that was in the Super Bowl. Staley hasn’t made an official announcement yet, but he leaves the NFL as a six-time Pro Bowler and a member of the NFL’s All-Decade team. What a special player and an even better human.
Financially, Staley retiring saves the 49ers about $10 million in cap space, with $1 million in dead money. The move also frees up $12.5 million for 2021. We’ll continue to update as the news continues to come in.