5 former San Francisco 49ers who could come out of retirement to play
By Peter Panacy
49ers fans were once overjoyed to hear a rumor Patrick Willis was considering coming out of retirement. It didn’t happen, but what if it did?
The San Francisco 49ers could have used former perennial All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis during the latter years of the 2010s. And for a while, it almost seemed like it was going to happen.
Remember that November 2015 rumor from Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole speculating Willis was thinking about ending his shocking retirement? For a few hours, at least until Willis later debunked the rumor, it gave Niners fans a glowing shimmer of hope amid a time when the franchise wasn’t exactly going through good things.
There have been other retirements and unretirements in recent franchise history, too. That same year, 2015, right tackle Anthony Davis retired, unretirerd and then retired again over the course of a few short years. Some other players probably thought of the idea as well.
Heck, perhaps one of the 49ers’ greats, now-retired left tackle Joe Staley, will wind up being in that discussion a few months or years down the road, too.
Let’s leave Staley alone for now. He gave San Francisco all he could in what was a storied, legendary career. And while every Niners fan would welcome him back with open arms, it’s time for him to enjoy being with his family and doing his at-home versions of The Joe Show.
So while thinking about these not-so-long-ago 49ers retirees coming back is little more than a pipe dream, Niner Noise has a bit of fun and imagines a scenario where these five San Francisco greats return to play for one last bit of competition.