It’s official: Patrick Willis’s days as an NFL player are done.
The 49ers announced today that Willis, their five-time first-team All-Pro linebacker, is retiring at the age of 30.
“On behalf of the entire San Francisco 49ers organization, my family, and our Faithful fans, I would like to thank Patrick for everything he has brought to this team and our community,” 49ers CEO Jed York said in a statement released by the team. “Some of the greatest memories in the history of our franchise have come from his passion, dedication and sacrifice. Patrick epitomizes everything you could ever want in a San Francisco 49er. What he brought to this team goes much further than his athletic abilities. His leadership and infectious love for the game helped propel this team. I consider myself very lucky to have grown up around some of the greatest players in the history of this franchise, and Patrick has certainly secured his place among that elite group of men. As a member of our family, Patrick holds a special place in our hearts, and we look forward to supporting him as he moves on from his playing career.”
It came as a big surprise when news broke on Monday that Willis is walking away, and it comes as a disappointment to the 49ers and their fans. But Willis’s mind appears to be made up, and he has played the last game of his great career.