49ers’ Mack announces retirement after 13 years

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SANTA CLARA, California – After a mid-season where he will or will not, San Francisco 49ers center Alex Mack has made a decision about his footballing future.

I will not. After 13 NFL seasons, Mack announced his retirement via Twitter and in connection with the 49ers Friday morning, bringing an end to a career that included seven Pro Bowl selections, three second-team All-Pro nicks and a spot in Pro Football Hall of Fame’s All-Decade team for the 2010s.

“After 13 seasons and 204 games for 3 teams, I have decided to hang my cleats up,” Mack wrote on Twitter. “I’m so grateful for the game of football and all that it has given me. Right from the start, it helped shape who I am and taught me life lessons. I started playing football because it was fun and it never changed. …

“I have always tried to keep my end of the trade and never let anyone doubt my efforts.”

Mack, 36, made his last Pro Bowl appearance last season, his only year in San Francisco. He signed with the 49ers as a free agent in March 2021 in a move that not only reunited him for the third time with coach Kyle Shanahan – the pair also worked together in Atlanta and Cleveland – but was something of a moment in full circle. for Mack, who played collegially at the University of California at nearby Berkeley.

At the time, Mack signed a three-year deal, but made it clear he was playing from year to year and would consider whether to continue at the end of each low season. Mack remained committed to it this offseason, leaving many wondering what he was going to do throughout the offseason.

At the NFL owners’ meetings in late March, Niner general manager John Lynch expressed optimism that Mack would return, saying “all signs are that he will return and be a part of us.”

Lynch’s tone changed dramatically just before the draft about a month later, when he said he would let Mack make his own announcement when he was ready.

On Thursday, Mack and Niners agreed on a revised contract that lowered his base salary for 2022 from $ 5 million to $ 1.12 million and from $ 3.35 million to $ 1.165 million in 2023. The move saved the 49ers more than 4 million dollars in cap space this season, money they quickly used to sign their nine-player draft class.

On Friday, Mack made his retirement official, and the 49ers issued a statement thanking Mack for his contribution.

“The center position in the NFL is the heartbeat of an offense, and Alex’s intellect, consistency, love of the game, and professional approach made a lasting impression over his 13 NFL seasons,” Lynch and Shanahan said in a statement. “Congratulations to Alex on a highly decorated NFL career and we wish him nothing but success in his career after playing.”

Mack was originally the 21st overall pick of Cleveland in the 2009 NFL Draft. He got three Pro Bowl nods and was a second-team All-Pro eleven in seven seasons with the Browns before landing three Pro Bowl spots and two second-team All-Pro spots in five years at the Falcons.

The 49ers now find that they are looking for a replacement in a position that Shanahan values ​​a lot in his offense.

Internal veteran opportunities include Jake Brendel, who has worked with the starters during the offseason program, and Daniel Brunskill, who started on the right guard last season but played quite a few centers in 2020.

San Francisco also has a trio of rookies – Nick Zakelj, Dohnovan West and Jason Poe – who could join the mix, though Shanahan has traditionally been reluctant to play an inexperienced midfielder.

Outside the building, veteran JC Tretter is the best center on the free-agent market, though he does come up with questions about a knee problem that prevented him from practicing much of last season.

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