San Francisco 49ers' linebacker Chris Borland shocked the football community by announcing his retirement from the National Football League. Borland, only 24, cited the risk of repeated head trauma as his main reason for leaving the game after only one year in the league.
Borland told ESPN earlier Tuesday he would go back to school and possibly start a sports management career. Obviously the entry-level salaries there won't rival his current NFL contract—and certainly not his future contracts. We couldn't resist calculating how much money Borland might be leaving on the table and reached out to Robert Raiola, aka the "Sports Tax Man," for some perspective.
The linebacker's original rookie contract was for $2.93 million over a four-year period, according to Raiola. The next three years broken down were worth serious six figures:
The deal also included a $617,436 signing bonus, and "the 49ers have the ability to go after a portion of the signing bonus" if they want to. Assuming a rough ratio of three-quarters of that bonus (to reflect the three years he isn't playing on the four-year deal), that could mean around $450,000 for the 49ers.
Several other players have recently retired early. Patrick Willis, 30, of the 49ers is giving up $7.8 million in 2015 salary because of foot injuries. Jake Locker, 26, of the Tennessee Titans, retired after making $12.6 million in his short career, citing a lack of burning desire to keep playing.