October 17, 2017
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The San Francisco 49ers have cut veteran linebacker Ahmad Brooks ahead of the team's third preseason game. USA TODAY Sports/ Jay Biggerstaff

49ers Release Veteran LB Ahmad Brooks

The San Francisco 49ers released 11-year veteran linebacker Ahmad Brooks on Friday.

“We would like to thank Ahmad for his nine years of service and contributions to the 49ers,” first-year general manager John Lynch said in a statement, via San Francisco’s team website. “In that time, he played a significant role on some formidable defensive units that helped this team achieve great success. We feel good about the depth and competition along our defensive front and believe that by making this decision now it will give Ahmad a head start on exploring his options with other teams. We wish him and his family nothing but the best.”

The 33-year-old linebacker started all 16 games last season and recorded 53 tackles, six sacks, six tackles for a loss, four passes defended, and one forced fumble. Brooks was competing with third-year linebacker Eli Harold for the team’s starting SAM linebacker role, and first-year head coach Kyle Shanahan said after the release that he wanted to give the veteran linebacker time to find a new team.

“Ahmad can still do things,”Shanahan said, via NFL Network. “I think everyone knows that and he’s going to help somebody this year. But it really comes down to the final 53. And I’m starting to get a better feel for what that is now. And it’s taken me some time, it’s taken John (Lynch) and me some time, because we got to know what our group was like and it’s really been nothing against Ahmad.”

“It’s how are we going to get 53 guys on this team — the right type of 53 guys. You think of guys that might not be as good in Week 1, but you think they’ll be ready in Week 3. What gives you the best chance to win in Week 1 and Week 8 and Week 16. You’ve got to play all that into account.”

The 49ers were reportedly looking for a trade partner for the two-time All-Pro, but elected to cut Brooks ahead of the team’s third preseason game this Sunday.

The 6-foot-3, 259-pound linebacker is sure to draw interest as a free agent, and it likely won’t take him long to find a new team.

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