Friday, June 5, 2015

Anthony Davis retires at age 25, will pay back unearned signing bonus money


The 49ers have once again lost a player to a surprise retirement.

Anthony Davis, a 25-year-old offensive tackle who was the 11th overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, said in a statement that he is retiring from football.

“After a few years of thought, I’ve decided it will be best for me to take a year or so away from the NFL. This will be a time for me to allow my Brain and Body a chance to heal. I know many won’t understand my decision, that’s ok,” Davis said. “I hope you too have the courage to live your life how you planned it when day dreaming to yourself growing up. Your Life is Your dream and you have the power to control that dream. Im simply doing what’s best for my body as well as my mental health at this time in my life.”

Davis had started every game for all five of his NFL seasons until last year, when he missed nine games during an injury-plagued season. Of particular concern was a late-season concussion which had lingering symptoms.

Per a league source, Davis will indeed pay back unearned signing bonuses as part of his decision to retire from the NFL. Via Spotrac.com, Davis has $4.66 million in paid but unearned signing bonuses. He already has paid the taxes on that amount, which will make for a complicated process of paying the money back to the 49ers and seeking a refund from the federal and state government.

Davis also has $1.7 million in option bonus money that applies to the 2015 league year. However, because the money came as part of a $5.1 million option bonus earned in 2013, Article 4, Section 9(b) of the current CBA contemplates that no portion of the option bonus will be repaid.

The 49ers have also lost Chris Borland, Patrick Willis and Justin Smith to retirements this offseason.

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