The 49ers faced a dilemma in the wake of linebacker Chris Borland’s retirement. Borland has resolved it for them.
Borland told Face the Nation on Sunday that he’ll return the $463,077 in unearned signing bonus money that he received in 2014, as part of a four-year contract. The amount to be returned exceeds by more than $40,000 the $420,000 base salary Borland was paid a year ago.
It was the right thing for Borland to do — and it’s a bit surprising it took nearly a week for that conclusion to be reached. In earlier interviews on ESPN and with CBS This Morning, the topic never came up, even though makes his decision to retire at age 24 even more courageous, because he now has to pay $463,077 for the privilege of moving on.
If Borland had wanted to retain the bonus, he could have simply half-assed it through offseason workouts and training camp and gotten cut. So he should be applauded for taking the course that more clearly articulated his concerns, but that ended up being far more costly.