SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — Former San Francisco star tight end Vernon Davis, who spent nearly 10 years playing for the 49ers, has officially announced his retirement from the National Football League.
Davis, who was graced with the rare combination of blinding speed and bullish strength, issued a statement through social media that the “wear and tear” of his 14-year NFL career had taken its toll.
Davis posted the announcement Monday on his social media accounts Monday after first announcing his retirement during a Fox NFL skit Sunday ahead of Super Bowl LIV.
“I’ve recently decided to retire from the game of football because of the constant wear and tear my body sustained during my 14-year career,” he said. “I want to leave the game while I’m healthy and able to pursue other passions and begin the next chapter of my life.”
— Vernon Davis (@VernonDavis85) February 3, 2020
The Washington, D.C. native and star player at the University of Maryland spent the last four seasons playing for his hometown Washington Redskins. He played in just four games this past season, catching just 10 passes for 123 yards before suffering a concussion and being placed on injured reserved. Over his illustrious career, Davis had 583 receptions for 7,562 yards and 63 touchdowns.
In the postseason for the 49ers from 2011-2013, Davis caught 27 passes for 600 yards and seven touchdowns. In Super Bowl XLVII, Davis caught 6 passes for 104 yards in San Francisco’s 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Davis also has a signature play in 49ers lore: the “Vernon Post” – a 14-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith with nine seconds remaining in the January 2012 Divisional Playoff game against the New Orleans Saints which gave the 49ers their first playoff win in ten years.
Davis credits his benching and banishment to the locker room by then-49ers head coach Mike Singletary during a 2008 game over an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty (which prompted Singletary’s famous “I want winners” rant) with turning his career around – and forcing him to focus more on team goals instead of individual ones.
“The journey I’ve had has been nothing short of amazing,” he said. “From being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, to being traded to the Denver Broncos and winning Super Bowl 50 and coming back home to play for the Washington Redskins.”
Davis said the next phase of his life may include working as a football analyst on television.
“I will hold football in my heart forever and I am grateful for the opportunity I’ve had while playing this great game,” he said.