Kevin Mawae Turned Down 49ers, Was Never Blackballed
Kevin Mawae is a 16-year NFL veteran who retired last year in September after being unable to find a job. The eight-time Pro Bowl center went so far as to accuse the NFL owners of blackballing him, believing that his status as the NFLPA’s president made teams unwilling to offer him a job. His exact quote on the radio last April was “It’s kind of befuddling to me that I just came off my eighth Pro Bowl and a 16-game season and I can’t get one phone call.”
At the time Mawae said that it may have been true, but that’s not the case. Speaking to Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com, Mawae said that he was offered a job with the San Francisco 49ers in August but decided not to sign with them. “It was a four-hour flight (each way) for a six-month season,” Mawae explained “I was going to be the starter, a team leader and coach on the field. All this — and it was for a one-year minimum (salary). Now, minimum for my age ($860,000) was really, really good. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t worth leaving my family.”
When Mawae announced his retirement in September, he said he got one offer but it came too late and he decided to turn it down. Now we know it was the 49ers that offered him the job. Also, his comment that the Niners wanted him to be a leader proves the point that teams care about winning more than player-owner beef. If that were such a factor, he wouldn’t have been offered a gig to come in and be a leader.