49ers NFL Draft rumor: Will Alex Mack retire or come back?
San Francisco is facing a very real chance of losing its multiyear Pro Bowl center Alex Mack to retirement this offseason. Just before the NFL Draft, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch reported Mack was still mulling retirement, which could put the 49ers into a bit of a conundrum should he elect to call it quits.
There’s a chance the Niners are already aware of Mack’s intentions, not unlike how the whole situation with former left tackle Joe Staley panned out ahead of and during the 2020 draft, which led to San Francisco’s in-draft trade for former Washington Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams, followed by Staley’s announcement the following day.
In John Lynch’s same press conference, he remained optimistic Mack would return, and apparently, the two sides have been in communication.
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“We’ve been in communication, so, part of that too, I would never speak for a player when he’s got news,” Lynch said. “so I’m not going to do that, but yes, we will continue to be in communication with Alex.”
It sounds like the only ones who truly know what Mack will do are in his camp and, possibly, Lynch and the 49ers, but they’re keeping things quiet as they did with Staley.
Still, with Mack turning 37 years old this season, it’d be in the Niners’ best interest to identify contingency plans sooner than later, and those could reveal themselves early in the NFL Draft with one of the team’s top picks.
The 2022 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 28 at 8 p.m. ET.