Two of the 49ers' starting offensive linemen in Super Bowl LIV won't play in the NFL next season.
Mike Person, who started 17 of 19 regular-season and playoff games during the 2019 campaign, announced his retirement to 406mtsports.com on Saturday (H/T 49ers Web Zone). Person retired nearly two months after longtime 49ers left tackle Joe Staley did the same.
“I just feel like now is the right time,” Person said Saturday. “Obviously I wish it would have ended differently, especially this past season. You take a beating, and anybody who’s played knows that. At some point you just have to tell yourself now is the right time. My kids are getting older and most likely I’d spend the entire season away from them if I were to sign with someone. I’ve missed too much already.”
Person, 32, played 73 games in six NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams (then in St. Louis), Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts and 49ers. The 49ers drafted Person in the seventh round in 2012, but he was released prior to the start of the regular season. He wouldn't play a game for San Francisco until signing with the 49ers as a free agent 2018, reuniting with former Falcons offensive coordinator -- and current 49ers head coach -- Kyle Shanahan.
After starting 30 regular-season games for the 49ers at right guard over the last two seasons, San Francisco released Person in March. Person said it was "unexpected," but multiple teams were interested in signing him this offseason. He said he's still feeling the effects of neck, knee and wrist injuries sustained during his career -- "normal lineman stuff," in Person's words -- but that he would've played out the last two years of his 49ers contract had the team not released him.
Those injuries, coupled with a desire to spend time with his family, made Person's decision to end what he called a "chaotic" career this weekend an easy one.
“I didn’t quite get the highest of highs that you can possibly have, but I had some big highs and I had some low lows," Person said of his career. "They tell you constantly that it’s a business but you don’t realize it until you are actually in it. But it helped me grow as a person, it helped me grow as a father, and I wouldn’t change anything about it.”
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