NFL: 24-Year Old 49ers LB Chris Borland Retires After One Season, Fearing Brain Injury



There’s been a lot going on in the NFL, with the lawsuits and more research done suggesting the devastating effects (CTE) playing football can have.  While the players love what they do, some are also scared about the future and the possible loss of cognition they’ll face later on in life.  The San Francisco 49ers got hit yet again.  After the shocking retirement of Patrick Willis, now 24-year old 49ers linebacker Chris Borland will retire from the NFL after just one season.

Borland had a stellar rookie season but is calling it quits due to concerns over the long-term impact of head injuries.

“I just honestly want to do what’s best for my health,” Borland said.  “From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk. . . .

“I feel largely the same, as sharp as I’ve ever been, for me it’s wanting to be proactive.  I’m concerned that if you wait [until] you have symptoms, it’s too late. . . .  There are a lot of unknowns.  I can’t claim that ‘X’ will happen.  I just want to live a long healthy life, and I don’t want to have any neurological diseases or die younger than I would otherwise.”

Borland said it wasn’t an easy decision, given his success last year.

“I’ve thought about what I could accomplish in football, but for me personally, when you read about Mike Webster and Dave Duerson and Ray Easterling, you read all these stories and to be the type of player I want to be in football, I think I’d have to take on some risks that as a person I don’t want to take on,” Borland said.

Borland said he believed he suffered a concussion in training camp, but he played through it because he wanted to make the team.  As the season progressed, he became more concerned about the issue.

As a third-round pick in 2014, Borland signed a four-year contract with a $617,436 signing bonus.  The 49ers have the right to recover 3/4ths of that amount ($463,077).

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