The clock was ticking on punter Andy Lee's long run with the 49ers ever since they selected Bradley Pinion in the fifth-round of the last NFL draft.
In Saturday, it struck zero when the 32-year-old Lee was dealt to the Cleveland Browns in return for a 2017 seventh-round draft pick.
“It has truly been an amazing 11 years with the 49ers organization, and I'm thankful for everything they have done for me,” Lee said in a statement. “San Francisco gave me the opportunity to play in the NFL by drafting me in 2004, and will forever be a special place for me and my family. Thank you to the York family, my teammates, the coaches, the football staff and the Faithful for your support over the years. It's been a great time!”
A three-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro, Lee is the franchise's all-time leader in punts (941), yards (43,468), gross average (46.2), net average (39.5) and punts downed inside the 20-yard line (300).
Lee was not only the team's most accomplished punter ever but one of the best in NFL history. He ranks fifth in with a 50.9 gross average and sixth with a 39.5 net average in league history.
“For the last 11 years, Andy has been a tremendous representative of the 49ers organization both on the field and in the community,” general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement.
Lee, 32, who was the team's longest-tenured player, became the latest high-profile 49ers player to depart this offseason. The list also includes linebacker Patrick Willis, defensive tackle Justin Smith, running back Frank Gore, guard Mike Iupati, wide receiver Michael Crabtree, right tackle Anthony Davis and linebacker Chris Borland.