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49ers' Steve Young Set To Retire

Updated:
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Steve Young is calling it quits, reluctantly.

The two-time league MVP, who led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl title in 1995, will announce his retirement Monday.

Two team sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the 38-year-old Young spent months agonizing over what to do and finally decided to end his playing career.

``He's made up his mind,'' one source said Thursday.

``The day has been set,'' the other club source said. ``The only issue is the setting.''

Waiting until Monday, they said, would allow Young's family, college coach and other key figures in his life to be on hand for the announcement.

There is also a possibility the team will make an announcement regarding Young's status on Friday, the day before he is due to be paid a $1 million bonus if he's still on the active roster. However, it's not known if Young would be there for that. Young's retirement also will mean $3 million in payroll relief for the 49ers, who have struggled throughout the offseason with salary cap problems.

While no formal announcement was made Thursday, players leaving the team's minicamp took word of Young's decision to retire in stride, including former Canadian Football League star Jeff Garcia, who will move into the job held by Young and Joe Montana for the last 19 years.

``I've been preparing myself for that situation all offseason, so I'm ready for it,'' said Garcia, adding he won't be fazed by following in the footsteps of Young's Hall of Fame-caliber career.

``I've been in a situation (in Calgary) where I've been behind a legend before, maybe in a different league but Doug Flutie was one of the best to ever play in the CFL and I was kind of looming behind him for a couple of seasons before I got my break up there,'' Garcia said. ``Maybe it wasn't on the scale that the NFL is but I've been introduced to it somewhat and I think I can handle those sorts of things.''

Coach Steve Mariucci said the thought of replacing Young was daunting.

``When you lose a great player, you have to replace his production on the field which is nearly impossible — he's the most efficient quarterback of all-time and nobody is really even close,'' Mariucci said. ``He's difficult to replace from a leadership standpoint, from an image standpoint, from the standpoint of a certain team swagger and confidence level.''

Young has been struggling to choose among three options: play for the 49ers, join another NFL team or retire. He hasn't played since a head blow Sept. 27 at Arizona left him with his latest concussion — his fourth in three years.

The Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner and CBS SportsLine also reported that Young had decided to retire.

Young's agent, Leigh Steinberg, did not return phone calls seeking comment and general manager Bill Walsh would neither confirm nor deny that Young had decided to retire.

Young wasn't available for comment.

Young, whose wife, Barbara, is expecting the couple's first child in December, has been mentioned as a candidate for the vacancy in the ``Monday Night Football'' booth. ABC is expected to announce a choice later this month.

It appeared Monday that Young's options had been reduced to retirement or playing elsewhere after Walsh all but ruled out his return to the 49ers.

But Walsh backed off the remarks the next day. He said the return of the two-time league MVP was possible if he gained medical clearance from a series of doctors.

Young met with Broncos coach Mike Shanahan in Denver on Monday, but he said there were no negotiations or contract talks. He said he was visiting Shanahan, who is a close friend, simply to get advice.
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