San Francisco 49ers center Weston Richburg (58), shown Oct. 20, 2019, missed the entire 2020 season because of multiple injuries. Photo courtesy of All-Pro Reels/Wikimedia Commons
June 2 (UPI) -- San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Weston Richburg on Wednesday announced his retirement from the NFL after seven years in the league.
The 29-year-old Richburg missed the entire 2020 season due to a lingering shoulder injury and his continued attempts to recover from a torn right patellar tendon sustained in Week 14 of the 2019 campaign.
That Week 14 matchup against the New Orleans Saints proved to be the final contest of Richburg's career.
"I consider myself extremely blessed to have played in this league and am so grateful for the experiences over the last seven years," Richburg said in a statement released through the 49ers. "Injuries are an unfortunate part of this game and I've reached a point where my body won't allow me to continue playing and competing at a high level.
"I was able to play some good football all over the country and was fortunate enough to finish my career with the greatest franchise in sports. From top to bottom, the 49ers organization is comprised of some of the best men, women and athletes I've ever been around. To be just a small part of an NFC Championship and Super Bowl run is something I will never forget."
Richburg, who turns 30 on July 9, also recently underwent hip surgery. In three seasons with the 49ers, he started 28 games.
After spending four years with the New York Giants, who selected him in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Colorado State, Richburg signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract with the 49ers in the opening days of free agency in 2018. That deal made Richburg the highest-paid center in league history.
The Niners reworked Richburg's contract during the 2019 season to create cap space, leaving him with a scheduled cap hit of about $11.5 million in 2021.
"Weston was someone who made not only our offense, but our entire team better," 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement. "He led by example through his detailed approach and the toughness in which he played the game.
"He was a tremendous player for our organization and will be missed both on the field and in the locker room."
San Francisco signed veteran offensive lineman Alex Mack earlier this off-season to take over as the 49ers' starting center in 2021.