The news came shortly after the 49ers agreed to acquire seven-time Pro Bowler Trent Williams from the Redskins in exchange for third- and fifth-round picks. Staley's retirement is not unrelated, either. As the days and hours until Super Bowl LIV dwindled, the tackle was frequently asked about his future and was frank in his response, saying he wasn't too sure exactly how much time he had left.
"I have no idea. Thirty-five years old," Staley told NFL.com in late January. "There's some days where I wake up and I've got five years left in me. There's some days I wake up and I've got like five minutes left in me. So, it's day to day."
Staley was selected in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Central Michigan and was a model of reliability, playing in every regular-season game from 2011 to 2015. He endured multiple injuries late in his career, missing 13 games in 2016 and nine contests in 2019 with separate ailments, but returned in time for San Francisco's stretch run to the Super Bowl.
With Williams now on the roster, the 49ers have their replacement for Staley -- but the franchise won't soon forget his many contributions.