San Francisco 49ers

49ers’ 2017 sack leader Dumervil retires. Why he’ll ‘cherish forever’ his time in S.F.

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Elvis Dumervil plays against the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles.
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Elvis Dumervil plays against the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles. AP

Two days before the 49ers set their 53-man roster for the regular season on Saturday, and perhaps solidify their plans at defensive end, one possible option removed himself from the equation. Pass rusher Elvis Dumervil retired from the NFL, making the announcement Thursday on Twitter.

“After spending a great deal of time talking to my family and prayerfully considering what’s next in my career, I have made the difficult decision to step away from the NFL at this time,” Dumervil wrote.

“During my time with the 49ers last season, I accomplished two career milestones that I will cherish forever. So I thank them for that opportunity.”

Dumervil, who ranks 26th in league history with 105.5 sacks, reached 100 career sacks during San Francisco’s overtime loss to the Cardinals Oct. 1. The 12-year veteran also joined John Abraham as the only players to log a sack against all 32 NFL teams.

The 49ers throughout the offseason kept the door open to bringing Dumervil back after declining the option on his contract for 2018 in the spring, letting him hit the free-agent market. He led the team with 6.5 sacks in 2017 while the team finished with 30, tied for the fifth-fewest in the league.

San Francisco decided against adding a pass rusher in the NFL draft, instead signing free agent Jeremiah Attaochu to a modest one-year contract. They also re-signed Cassius Marsh to a two-year deal, who was acquired midseason off waivers from the Patriots. Those two have 16 sacks in their eight seasons combined. The 49ers might use defensive tackle DeForest Buckner at defensive end in throwing downs in 2018 to make up for their lack of established talent at the position.

Dumervil (5-foot-11, 250 pounds) became the first player shorter than 6-foot-1 to reach 100 sacks. The 2006 fourth-round pick of the Broncos led the league with 17 sacks in 2009 before matching that total in 2014 with the Ravens.

“My body still feels great,” Dumervil wrote, “and I know I can still help a team win. I will miss being on the field, particularly on Sundays. But I also have a wife and two young children who need me and a real estate business that I can now turn my attention to full-time.”

Dumervil made $67.5 million in salaries over his 12 seasons, according to

Get 49ers coverage that can keep up — or get left behind

Chris Biderman, who's been on the 49ers beat since 2013, gives you behind-the-scenes access to one of the most iconic franchises in the NFL as it looks to return to glory. From the front office to the sidelines, our coverage includes:
  • Instant analysis and Postgame Buzz videos after the final whistle blows.
  • A weekly mailbag, where we dive into your 49ers questions.
  • In-depth features, exclusive interviews and breaking roster news.
Your support makes our 49ers coverage possible. Take advantage of a 99-cents offer for your first month of access to The Sacramento Bee.
Related stories from Sacramento Bee