SANTA CLARA — Just 23 hours after inside linebacker and special teamer Brock Coyle tweeted his approval of the San Francisco 49ers’ free agent dealings, the franchise announced on Thursday that it had released him, and signed former Carolina Panthers inside linebacker and special teamer David Mayo.
“Brock contributed greatly to the culture we have been building over the last two years, and we are very thankful to have benefited from his presence,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement. “Through his play, his character and his professionalism, he set a wonderful example of what this organization looks for in a 49er. We expect great things from Brock in whatever he chooses to do in life and wish him continued success.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Coyle had tweeted that Lynch and Shanahan were “on [fire emoji]” with the reported (and since-confirmed) signings of Jason Verrett and Kwon Alexander, and the acquisition of Dee Ford. As soon as news broke of his release, he deleted the tweet, and posted what amounts to a retirement announcement.
“Thank you to the San Francisco 49ers organization for giving me the chance to live out my dream and play football for such a first class and historic organization,” Coyle wrote. “I personally want to thank Jed York, John Lynch and Coach Kyle Shanahan for believing in me and resigning me after the 2017 season. I gave my all for my teammates and coaches that year. They recognized that and rewarded me for it. For that, I am forever grateful.
“Injuries are a part of this game, and it is a risk all players willingly take when we step onto the field. Unfortunately, the injury I sustained last season is one that will prevent me from returning to the field again.
“Thank you to all who have been a part of my football life. There are so many people I could name that have made such significant contributions. You know who you are, and I cannot thank you enough! I truly appreciate each and every one of you!!”
In March of 2018, the 49ers had signed Coyle to a three-year, $8.5 million contract that was worth up to $11.5 million and had $4.1 million guaranteed. He suffered a compression back fracture in Week 1, and was placed on injured reserve.
Coyle appeared in 17 games (11 starts) over the past two seasons with the team, after originally signing as a free agent in March of 2017. He registered 68 tackles, one pass defensed, one forced fumble and 0.5 sack to go along with two tackles on special teams.
Other moves announced on Thursday: The Verrett signing, as well the signing by Elijah Lee of a one-year exclusive rights tender.
Lee (6-2, 229) was tendered a one-year contract as an exclusive rights free agent on March 7. He appeared in all 16 games (five starts) and recorded 62 tackles, two passes defensed, 1.0 sack and one forced fumble.