Four months after starting for the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, free-agent guard Mike Person has decided to call it a career after nine NFL seasons.
Person, who was released by the Niners in April, announced his retirement during a phone interview with 406 MT Sports this weekend. The 32-year-old offensive lineman cited years of wear and tear and a desire to spend more time with his family as contributing factors to his decision.
"I just feel like now is the right time," Person said. "Obviously I wish it would have ended differently, especially this past season. You take a beating, and anybody who's played knows that. At some point, you just have to tell yourself now is the right time.
"My kids are getting older and most likely I'd spend the entire season away from them if I were to sign with someone. I've missed too much already."
The 2019 season was a magical one for the Niners as the team started the year 8-0, finished 13-3 and was a couple plays away from topping the Chiefs in February. The O-line proved one of the league's best, guiding the run game to a No. 2 ranking in yards per game (144.1) and providing solid protection for Jimmy Garoppolo. Person played an integral role in those efforts, starting 14 regular season games and all three of the team's postseason contests.
At the time of his release, 49ers general manager John Lynch described Person as "a selfless player whose passion for the game was respected by everyone in our organization. Lynch added, "His character and professionalism was a great influence in our locker room, while his fire and grit on the field added to the physical nature of our team."
A former seventh-round pick by the 49ers in 2011, the Montana State product played for six different teams, two of which he played for twice (Colts and 49ers). In 73 career games, Person started 48 of them, including 30 contests the last two seasons.
"If I had to use one word it would be 'chaotic,' just because of all the ups and downs that I had," Person said about his career. "I didn't quite get the highest of highs that you can possibly have, but I had some big highs and I had some low lows. They tell you constantly that it's a business but you don't realize it until you are actually in it.
"But it helped me grow as a person, it helped me grow as a father, and I wouldn't change anything about it."