Mike Person

Why retiring Mike Person will never get over 49ers' Super Bowl loss

Why retiring Mike Person will never get over 49ers' Super Bowl loss

Mike Person went from being a Super Bowl LIV starter for the 49ers to hanging up his cleats within a matter of months.

The offensive lineman announced on Sunday he will be retiring after nine seasons.  

For Person, he felt it was the right time, but wished things would have been different. He, of course, would have loved to leave Miami with a championship, but he explained how he believes he will never get over it. 

“It’s crazy. You make it there and you’re on top of the world,” Person told 406 MT Sports in a phone interview on Sunday. “And then you lose, especially in the fashion that we did, it is one of the most demoralizing things,” Person said. “It was tough to get over. To be honest with you, I don’t know if I am over it quite yet, or if I ever will be.”

“If you play football, that’s what you dream of, winning a Super Bowl. We were close. We just didn’t make the plays when we needed to.”

An incomplete pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in the fourth quarter of the big game in February will haunt the two for a while, but it appears Person will have the same ghosts looming.

He was released by the 49ers back in March in an “unexpected” transaction. Despite other teams showing interest in the 32-year-old, his body wasn’t quite right after sustaining multiple injuries over his career.

Person also is most importantly a father and said if he were to sign with a team, that would force him to stay away from his kids and he feels he’s already missed too much of them growing. 

Person won’t leave his NFL career empty-handed, however. He does have a Super Bowl ring during his time with the Seattle Seahawks at the beginning of his career, but he didn’t play in those postseason games. 

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A seventh-round draft pick for the 49ers in 2011, Person, in addition to his time in Seattle, had stints with the Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons and Indianapolis Colts.

He was a staple during the games leading up to the Super Bowl with the 49ers, helping them win the NFC Championship last season as a fill-in starter. For him to be so close with so much invested certainly proves why this loss is more personal to him. 

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.

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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' Daniel Brunskill lauds Joe Staley, dazzled by Trent Williams

49ers' Daniel Brunskill lauds Joe Staley, dazzled by Trent Williams

The 49ers will experience intangible losses this season as two veteran starters along the offensive line will not be back.

Daniel Brunskill, who came to the organization last offseason after a stint in the now-defunct Alliance of American Football last spring, credited Joe Staley and Mike Person for boosting the confidence of young players, such as himself.

Staley retired this offseason after 13 seasons with the 49ers. Person remains a free agent after the 49ers released him in March.

“When I first got to the 49ers, he (Staley) and Mike Person were just great leaders for us and totally took us in and taught us a lot,” Brunskill said Thursday in a video call with Bay Area reporters.

“They instilled confidence in a lot of the young guys. Every time you did something good, those two guys were the first two to come up to you and say how good of a job it was, how good of a player you were and definitely support you along the way.”

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

Staley’s encouragement, in particular, meant a lot to Brunskill because of his prestige and all that he accomplished during his career. Staley, a six-time Pro Bowl player, was selected to the NFL All-Decade team. But Brunskill said Staley's impact went far beyond the field.

“That was one of the best things that Joe’s done for us, was just what he does for young guys,” Brunskill said. “I know he told me multiple times after games -- even after practices early on -- ‘Hey, you’re a good player. Keep doing what you’re doing and things will work.’ That was awesome to have.”

Although Brunskill has yet to step on the practice field with new left tackle Trent Williams, he is no less excited about playing on the same line with another player who ranks among the best of this generation of offensive linemen.

“I’ve seen that he’s just a total professional in how he goes about himself,” Brunskill said of Williams. “I watched a few clips of his tape, and he’s definitely a beast -- a great player. And he’s going to do a great job for us.”

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The 49ers seamlessly made the transition from Staley to Williams, and Brunskill expects Staley to continue to provide sage advice and timely encouragement to the 49ers’ offensive linemen of the future.

“He’s an amazing player. He’s done so much for this team, this organization, this city,” Brunskill said of Staley. “It’s definitely going to be a huge loss to not have him. But, hopefully, he can still get in the building. He’ll be around as much as possible, I’m sure. He’s one of those guys who just loves the game. So he’s definitely going to be a big part of it.”