Source: 49ers expect star LB Patrick Willis to retire

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The San Francisco 49ers are bracing themselves for the surprising loss of linebacker Patrick Willis, a source told Yahoo Sports.

The team is expecting Willis, 30, to retire, the source said.

Willis has played eight seasons with the 49ers after being drafted out of Mississippi with the 11th overall selection in the 2007 NFL draft. He was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time first-team All-Pro.

Willis played in six games last season before being lost for the season because of surgery for a left toe injury.

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