When offensive lineman Anthony Davis filed for reinstatement in July, he was supposed to be a key component of San Francisco’s revamped offensive line.
Instead, the former first-round pick spurned the 49ers for the second time in as many seasons, choosing to retire yet again on Monday afternoon.
Davis’ decision comes after a rocky start to his second go-round with the team that drafted him 11th overall in 2010.
Despite receiving glowing endorsements by both head coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke, who praised the lineman’s dedication to returning to the game, Davis’ eccentricities continued to stir controversy before the first snap of the season.
After being beat out by Trent Brown for his usual right tackle position, Davis’ reluctance to shift to guard reportedly led him to mull retirement yet again before the Week 1 showing against the Los Angeles Rams.
While Kelly chalked it up to a “miscommunication,” the conflict was an ominous start to the season. Things took a turn for the worse after Davis suffered a concussion during a padded practice before the Week 2 showdown with Carolina.
After retiring last season due to concussion concerns, Davis’ first concussion of the 2016 year proved to be too much for the 26-year-old.
If you want any indication of how frustrating the situation must be for the 49ers front office, here’s the extent of their press release.
“Offensive lineman Anthony Davis informed the team that he has retired from the National Football League.”
No statement of support from Baalke or York. Just a single sentence.
Davis’ decision to remove himself from the equation subtracts obviously talent from the 49ers, but it gives them a clearer idea of what to do with their offensive line moving forward.
Although Davis was slotted to be the starting right guard, his biggest contribution to the team would have been at the tackle position, where he was just a backup.
Trent Brown has proved to be a budding young talent, and Joe Staley is cemented in his role along the left side of the line. While Davis provided the 49ers with a talented backup in case one of the aforementioned players goes down, he ultimately relegated himself to the sidelines.
It’s always tough to lose talent, but I can’t imagine Trent Baalke will miss having to deal with Davis and his eccentricities.