Heads Up, from Auto Dealer Monthly.
The NFL’s concussion crisis went from bad to worse last month. Chris Borland, the San Francisco 49ers’ rookie linebacker sensation, abruptly announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 24. He was afraid that, if he continued to subject his brain to the repeated trauma inherent to his sport, he would break it. So he hung up his cleats and walked away from a $3 million contract.
“I just don’t want to get in a situation where I’m negotiating my health for money,” Borland told ESPN’s Outside the Lines. “Who knows how many hits is too many?”
At the peak of the NFL offseason, when fans and sportswriters are typically focused on free agency and the college draft, the league was rocked by a series of retirement announcements from four players age 30 or younger. Borland’s announcement was preceded by that of his teammate, Patrick Willis (30), the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Jason Worilds (27) and former Tennessee Titan Jake Locker (26). Only Borland and Willis cited injuries or the risk thereof as their deciding factor, but Locker has been banged up throughout his four-year career.