After 13 incredible seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, and many recent months of consideration, it is with very mixed emotions that I am announcing my retirement from the NFL. The game of football has been a true passion of mine since I was 8, but my body is telling me it is time.

Football is a physical sport and I have given my all to the game and pushed my limits. Last season was a dream to be a part of, having the opportunity to chase a Championship. But, it was by far the most difficult on me and my family. My body was breaking down with a variety of injuries and a deteriorating neck condition, and the constant discomfort affected every aspect of my life.

I have two young daughters, Grace and Audrey. They are my world. To choose to play another season when my body says it's done, and risk my future with them and my ability to be the father I want to be, would be selfish and reckless.

I want my daughters to know that I will always choose them, no matter what.

I want to thank so many people who have made my career so fulfilling. Starting with the York family – It was my wish to deliver the Lombardi Trophy to you in my 13 years here, and it hurts to have fallen short. I will be forever grateful to your family for allowing me the opportunity to represent the franchise and wear the red and gold my entire career. I thank you.

T Joe Staley

To all the coaches that I have played for – Each of you had a huge impact on how I shaped my game. I learned so much from you and would not have been the player I was without your time and commitment. You all made coming to work each day a blessing and challenged me to achieve more. I thank you.

To all the players I shared the field and locker room with over the years – Coming to work each day was enjoyable because of the bond we shared. This time has granted me friendships and memories that will last me a lifetime. I thank you.

To all the support and operational staff – Your countless hours and sacrifices to make sure the players are ready to perform on gameday are truly appreciated. You are not told enough how important and integral these roles are. I thank you.

To the 49er Faithful – You embraced this kid from Central Michigan, with a loud and obnoxious personality, with open arms, and I am grateful.

I hope I made you all proud with my effort and commitment every time I took the field. While I wish we had won at least one of the Super Bowls I was fortunate enough to play in, this franchise has never been in better hands and had more promise. Stay committed and loud, the players hear you. I thank you.

T Joe Staley

Finally, to my wife Carrie – You have been the calm and loving support I have needed since the moment we met. You have been selfless and patient with me and our family throughout my career and handled the stresses with graceful ease. You make me a better person and are a beautiful mother to our children. I look forward to writing the next chapters of our life together. I thank you and I love you.

I hope to be present with the organization moving forward and will always have a deep love for the San Francisco 49ers and the Bay Area. While I am sad and disappointed my time has come to step away, I leave with my head held high, knowing I gave my all to the game.

I fulfilled the dreams I had as a kid. Now, I will turn my attention to helping my daughters cultivate and achieve dreams of their own.

With sincere love and gratitude,

#74 Joe Staley - Hero

Joe Staley

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