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Signs point even more strongly to Alex Mack retiring

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Kyle Shanahan said he expects the 49ers to trade Jimmy Garoppolo, but the current QB market may not allow for it this year.

49ers center Alex Mack joined the team via a three-year contract in 2021. It appears that, with two years remaining on the deal, Mack is ready to walk away from the game.

The 49ers have tiptoed around Mack’s status. Recent remarks from coach Kyle Shanahan make it more clear than ever that the team doesn’t expect Mack to return. However, the team continues to defer to Mack, when it comes to making the decision public.

“I’ve talked to him here and there,” Shanahan said regarding Mack’s status. “I’ve got a good idea. I’ve been in touch with him throughout the offseason, through his wedding, through his honeymoon. He’s in some other country right now, but I’ve got a pretty good idea of what he’s doing. . . . I’m going to leave that up to Alex, but I’ve got a pretty good idea. I think you guys do too.”

There’s a business issue that the 49ers would have to address, if Mack retires. Technically, he would owe the team $2.45 million in unearned signing bonus money, if he retires.

A seven-time Pro Bowler, the 2009 first-round pick spent seven years with the Browns, five with the Falcons, and one with the 49ers. In 11 NFL seasons, he started every single game.