Joe Staley is entering the final year of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers, but that doesn't mean 2019 will be the end of the road for the veteran tackle. Staley, who spoke with reporters on Wednesday, will be 35 years old when the 2019 regular season kicks off. He isn't looking toward life after the NFL just yet. Instead, he is focused on his 13th NFL season.

Staley wants to play as long as he can. That includes the possibility of playing in 2020. He hasn't yet discussed with the 49ers whether or not that will be in San Francisco.

"We really haven't had any discussions, but I've made it very clear, I think, to everybody that I want to play as long as I can," Staley said. "I still love the game and still feel like I can play at a high level. I still feel like I'm valued on the football team.

"I know this is my last year under contract, but I'm not going to worry about that. I'm just going to go out there and try to do everything I can to help us win games this year."

The 49ers made Staley, who played college football at Central Michigan, the No. 28 overall selection in 2007. Staley has 174 starts through his 12 NFL seasons and is a six-time Pro Bowl selection.



One thing Staley is looking forward to is going against new pass rusher Dee Ford in practice. The 49ers acquired Ford via a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs in March. Staley believes the upcoming offseason battles will make both he and Ford better players.

Staley is already familiar with Ford. The two went against each other during the 49ers' Week 3 matchup against the Chiefs last season. In fact, Staley confirmed on Wednesday that the 49ers staff spoke with him about Ford before the team made the deal to acquire the pass rusher.

"It was a challenging game," Staley said of that Week 3 matchup. "He got me early on with that sack. That first step, that quickness, I was like 100 percent certain that he was offsides. It was that fast. But going back to the film, he just timed it up super, and he was right on it.

"There were plays where I was edgy. There were plays where I got the better of him. That's kind of what you expect when you have guys that are — pump my own chest here too — guys that are some of the top in the position. It's going to be one of those games where guys get one player or the other here or there.

"I'm excited to go against him in practice. I mean, it's going to be great for me and then also great for Mike (McGlinchey)."

What did Staley tell the 49ers when they asked him about Ford?

"He's one of the most explosive players I've played against, and he was definitely a challenge to go against last year and every time I've ever played him," he answered.



Staley was supposed to work out with second-year tackle Mike McGlinchey before the team reported back to Santa Clara. That, however, did not happen.

"You know, he actually didn't even work out with me," Staley said. "So I don't know if there's something in the relationship that needs mending or maybe he's just moved on. He wanted to go to EXOS (in Carlsbad, California). He's more of a guy that kind of likes the spotlight life.

"Who I train with [in San Diego], I've been training with for four or five years, and it's just me and him. It's not the glitz and glam of EXOS. He was there with his guys. Quenton Nelson was down there, Taylor Lewan, and he just kind of felt like maybe he could learn some more things from them as opposed to me. I've got a ways to go before I catch up to those guys, apparently."

Staley said he and McGlinchey did make the time to get together for a few yoga sessions, though.