San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis expected to announce retirement

Willis was a first round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft (©GettyImages)

A tumultuous off-season for the 49ers looks set to continue with the rumours that linebacker Patrick Willis is expected to announce his retirement on March 10 (Tuesday), according to Yahoo Sports.

After eight seasons with San Francisco, Willis is set to retire having ended last season early due to surgery on a problematic toe injury.

A first round pick out of Mississippi in the 2007 Draft, the linebacker went on to become one of the best in his position for several seasons, making seven Pro-Bowl appearances and five first-team All Pro units.

49ers' difficult off-season

Having cut ties with coach Jim Harbaugh after a disappointing season that ended with an 8-8 record, the 49ers are enduring an important off-season in which they are strapped for cash and desperately trying to rebuild.

Willis made six appearances last season before getting surgery on a left toe injury that had bothered the player in recent seasons but was not seen as career ending.

New head coach Jim Tomsula will be disappointed to lose a consistent figure for the 49ers, who before last year had only missed five regular season games in San Francisco’s red and gold.

Upside for ‘Frisco

With money tight for the NFC West side, losing Willis will make some space in the wage cap, saving around $7million dollars will give General Manager Trent Baalke some extra cash to improve the 49ers roster for next season.

Willis’ plans to retire near the prime of his career have been met with surprise by many fans, but also respect by some pundits, whatever happens next, the off-season continues to be a roller-coaster ride for those on the ‘Frisco bay.

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