49ers

Mike Person announces retirement from NFL months after 49ers release

Mike Person announces retirement from NFL months after 49ers release

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.

[RELATED: 49ers had second-most explosive running plays, per PFF]

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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49ers' Arik Armstead ignores critics of speaking up on social issues

49ers' Arik Armstead ignores critics of speaking up on social issues

Arik Armstead doesn't want to hear it.

The 49ers defensive lineman spoke to Sactown Magazine for its July/August issue, and says that if you're not willing to listen to his dialogue off the field about social issues affecting our country, Armstead doesn't want you tuning in to watch him and his teammates dominate on the field.

“If you don’t want me speaking out against racism and social issues and social injustices, then don’t watch me play on Sundays," Armstead said. "Can’t have a piece of me and not all of me.”

Armstead also joined NBC Sports Bay Area's "Race In America" series a few weeks ago, and spoke about the pain he felt seeing video of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis Police Custody.

"Like, why do I have to continue -- why do we have to continue to see people that look like us get murdered on social media and on the TV?" Armstead told Logan Murdock and Monte Poole on  "Race In America: A Candid Conversation." " ... I'm on Instagram, and I just got to see another Black person get killed unjustly."

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

The 26-year-old also discussed a time when he was racially profiled by local police near a friend's house in Elk Grove.

“A cop gets behind us, pulls us over,” Armstead recalls. “‘What y’all doing? Where y’all going?’”

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The officer then made Armstead and his friends prove that they knew the people whose house they were traveling to, by bringing the cop with them to the front door and having the friend explain that he was acquainted with Armstead.

Armstead has made it clear he won't be staying silent or "sticking to sports." For those who don't want to hear Armstead's voice on these issues, don't expect him to care whether you watch him play on Sundays.

See Joe Staley's motivational IG message for 49ers' Kendrick Bourne

See Joe Staley's motivational IG message for 49ers' Kendrick Bourne

Joe Staley long has been a model of consistency for the 49ers, spending the past 12 seasons protecting a myriad of 49ers quarterbacks as San Francisco's starting left tackle.

Staley's younger teammates held so much respect for him, as you could see from the many who spoke publicly in the wake of Staley's retirement back in April.

It appears even in retirement Staley continues to inspire his former teammates, as 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne shared an Instagram direct message from Staley on Sunday morning.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

"Never lose sight of the goal. The ring," Staley wrote to Bourne. "That's all that matters in what we do. I never got it. You. Mr KB!! Go get it!! F-----g GET IT!! Make me proud bro. I love watching your hustle. All love."

Staley was responding to a video Bourne had posted of some of the hardware he's earned over his football career, including one of the game balls from the 49ers' blowout Week 8 win over the Carolina Panthers.

[RELATED: Why 49ers should explore David Njoku trade with Browns after demand]

Bourne and the 49ers came so close to helping Staley capture that elusive championship ring, but quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs rallied from a 10-point deficit to stun San Francisco at Super Bowl LIV.

The 49ers won the offseason in the eyes of some pundits around the league, and appear primed for another deep postseason run. It'll be up to Bourne, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and the rest of the 49ers' talented roster to finish the job if they can get back to the Super Bowl.