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#pounditMonday, June 24, 2024

49ers color analyst Tim Ryan: Chris Borland ‘quit’

Chris-Borland

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland has sparked a polarizing debate across sports with his decision to retire from football after just one season in the NFL. Many have praised him for his good sense and courage while others — like 49ers radio color analyst Tim Ryan — have been critical.

On Tuesday, Ryan said those who have lumped Borland and fellow Niners linebacker Patrick Willis into the same discussion are wrong, insisting that Willis retired while Borland simply “quit.”

The full context of Ryan’s quotes shows he was not attacking Borland, as some have made it sound, but his opinion will still be viewed as somewhat controversial.

“Big props to Chris. I’ve got a lot of respect for him,” Ryan said, as transcribed by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “The selfish side of me is pissed that the 49ers are losing another quality player. … Chris was and still is fantastic.

“The risk isn’t worth the reward for some guys. You may call that superior intelligence because I never would have made that decision, but that cat [Borland] has got a little more intelligence than I do.”

Here’s Ryan’s full quote about the difference between Willis and Borland:

“This isn’t punitive on Borland, and I love the guy and I want to see him play. Patrick Willis retired. Chris Borland quit.”

I can understand why Niners fans would be disappointed in Borland’s decision. He was phenomenal as a rookie last year and was set to fill the void left by Willis’ departure.

Ryan is not the first sports media figure to express a controversial opinion about Borland (see two others here), and he probably won’t be the last. Whether you agree with Borland or not, the decision is his to make and no one else’s. We should all respect that.

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