49ers release Ahmad Brooks

This is former 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks

The 49ers just announced they have released veteran outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks.

Here’s a statement from general manager John Lynch: “We would like to thank Ahmad for his nine years of service and contributions to the 49ers. 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.”

Eli Harold will replace Brooks as the starting strongside outside linebacker, and either Dekoda Watson or Aaron Lynch will replace Brooks as a defensive end on third downs.

Are you surprised by this move? Do you think it was the right move? And which team do you think will sign Brooks?

This article has 61 Comments

  1. “Are you surprised by this move?” No, I predicted it in March and made a case for it earlier this week.

    “Do you think it was the right move?” Yes, he’s a backup.

    “And which team do you think will sign Brooks?” Seattle or Chicago.

  2. Anyone no if Brooks had more sacks then offside penalties during his tenure with the Niners? Surprised – nope, right move – yup, which team – Jets (wild guess)

    1. He had 51.5 sacks ranking him 3rd All Time in 49ers history. I think he averaged about 6 per year with the offsides, and neutral zone infractions combined….

  3. Plenty of teams need a good pass rusher and if Brooks was considered one I’d have to believe they could have fetched at least a 7th rounder for him. He’ll land somewhere but I doubt he’ll make us sorry for releasing him.

  4. I find it surprising, because he had 6 sacks and 50+ tackles last year. Harold hasn’t been healthy or productive, but he’s young and cheap. That’s the direction this team is headed, so in that vein it makes sense. I think the Patriots should be interested….

  5. I’m not surprised he’s off the team.

    I’m a bit surprised a the move was made before the 3rd preseason game. You never know when there will be a rash of injuries. The early release might have been a favor to Brooks to give himself time to approach teams.

    Was wondering of front loading (eating) part of his contract would make it easier for Lynch to trade him, or other vets under longer contracts like McDonald or Dial.

        1. I was one of them it was more of a hope as I was not impressed with Hoyer. Even tho Hoyer has not done much in pre-season games apparently his practices are very good so I backed off and willing to wait and see.

          1. I am not crazy about Hoyer either but I never believed Barkley would suddenly turn into a QB he’s never been his whole career. Hoyer has flashes then he flames out. He’ll play great for a bit, then bomb for us as well. I think Hoyer is a decent bridge QB and fits KS’s offense. If we have appropriate expectations of a transition year I think we’ll be fine.

            Did you see how the ESPN guys ranked Hoyer? This cracked me up. Sometimes I am baffled by pundits.


            1. I admit I said that Barkley might supplant Hoyer, but once Barkley kept throwing picks, I changed my mind.
              Still think Hoyer may pull a Gabbert, and bench himself. This next game will be a test, and while I hope he aces it, I am not holding my breath.

  6. https://www.sbnation.com/2017/8/25/16050510/49ers-release-outside-linebacker-ahmad-brooks

    Brooks was benched twice in 2014 after arguing with the coaching staff over playing time and seemed to have been benched again in late 2015. Officially, the 49ers claimed he wasn’t benched, but he went to the sideline and threw his helmet down before missing several defensive drives. He has also routinely showed a lack of discipline and had four offside penalties and two neutral-zone infractions in 2015.

  7. Given Harold had overtaken him no I am not surprised. Nor am I disappointed. I have thought the team should move on from him for a couple of years. Not that he’s been a bad player, just been overpaid and I don’t think he has the right attitude to be a role model for a young team.

    Maybe Fangio will want him. I think he will end up somewhere playing a 3-4.

      1. Belichick doesn’t put up with undisciplined players. His motto is ‘do your job.’ And acting the fool and like a prima donna isn’t doing your job.

      2. Funny, I almost listed the Patriots as an option. I think as Moses said, he might not be keen on the lack of discipline. But it would be a very Patriots like move.

  8. When Saleh described Eli as violent a couple days ago, it seemed this was is the cards. He also worked hard in the offseason and frankly, money talks, despite what Shanahan claimed publicly.

  9. I do not like this move. Eli cannot rush the passer at all. We have the team to compete within the division this year but it feels a bit like they are tanking and planning for the future. What do you think Grant?

  10. Like the move. Nothing but respect for Ahmad. Great Forty Niner! I wish him and his family well. This reminds me of Walsh. He never had a problem cutting veterans regardless of their stature on the team. Tough move but it shows everyone that KS and JL are not f’ing around and the best players are going to make the team, no matter who you are. Team? Seattle of course!!

  11. It’s a younger man’s game and always will be, with the occasional exception of QB and FG Kicker. A hard decision, given his length of quality play for the team but the writing was pretty much on the wall.. Thank you, Ahmad, for some outstanding moments over the years! The hit on poster- boy Brees was violent but clean, a home town call all the way, one that cost the 49ers home field advantage that year if I recall correctly. Brooks was Brees’ recurring nightmare..

    1. What has Eli shown that makes you think he is anything but a serviceable NFL player? He reminds me a bit of Manny Lawson. Never going to be a good push rusher but decent against the run.

      1. http://www.49erswebzone.com/articles/108344-kyle-shanahan-discusses-release-ahmad-brooks-promotion-harold/

        “He’s a physical player,” Shanahan said while describing Harold. “He can set the edge. I think he’s got a lot more in him. I think he can continue to improve but I love the way he fights. I love the way he competes every day. He’s a guy, to me, who was trying to be his best every day. I think there’s a lot more to come. Usually, the guys who have that type of mentality, they usually get better, not worse.”

  12. http://ninerswire.usatoday.com/2017/08/25/analysis-how-the-49ers-will-replace-veteran-pass-rusher-ahmad-brooks/

    Harold will be the top option at SAM in base packages. But that won’t be the only role that needs filling with Brooks gone. Brooks was also a pass rushing defensive end in sub packages. And the 49ers have a host of those players for their new defense, which will be in sub formations roughly two-thirds of the time.

    Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, Aaron Lynch, Elvis Dumervil, Tank Carradine and rookie sixth-round pick Pita Taumoepenu have all rushed from both sides of the formation throughout training camp and preseason.

  13. They are just being professional’s. They are not going to admit they cut him because of his age and high salary. They’re giving the young boys like Eli a chance. Out with the old, in with the new. That’s what Bill Walsh used to do. All those penalties single-handedly was no help either. I would bet he goes to Seattle, too. They’re always getting what we cut. Goid luck, Brooks. You did all right for us.

  14. NO will sign him so he doesn’t pop Drew Brees’s head out like a human pez dispenser any more. One of the Greatest_Hits_Ever.

  15. I meant good. I’m sure some people agree with me. By the way. This is not to old to say, but if Trent Baalke was still here, we would’nt have even a quarter of the free agents we have now. And he would’ve drafted injured bums.

  16. Business is business ,,,, should of got a pick for him ,,,, always liked him ,,, but still should of took the pick ,,, whatever pick ,,, would always help in the long run

  17. Building a team the way shanny wants it , requires draft picks , even late rounders ,all helps . Looking at some of this year’s picks show us that , don’t see why not trade him . This is still a business , why give him away ?

  18. Harold showed me very little last year. Hopefully he can dramatically improve, but I haven’t seen him do much during the practice games. We could have another Manny Lawson in the making.

    1. Two points: last season was O’Neil’s horrific 3-4 defense, and Lawson was never the same after his non-contact injury that caused him to an entire season.

  19. This move gives us the option of having Dumervil, Lynch, Buckner, and Thomas on the field in sub packages. It also gives Pita a better shot at making the team. I don’t see him making it to the PS.

  20. A)long time overdue. B) not surprised at all. C) Seattle of course , everyone we get rid of the Seahawks jump on , pathetic because they’re supply to be out of the Niners league

  21. Not surprising given the new defense and the current personnel to fill the role. In my opinion this was more of a cost cutting decision and amicable way of letting Brooks go. Eli is NOT better than Brooks, just the stop gap guy till someone better comes along to fill the role next year or whenever someone else steps it up.

  22. Guess it’s just me. I’ve always thought Brooks was a very good player with a slight attitude problem. Imho Brooks is much better than Eli Harold. I’m wondering if this is a personality conflict between Brooks & Saleh and Shanny/Lynch decided to clear the way for Saleh. Given Salehs youth, I can see a man like Brooks challenging him.

  23. In two articles ,they were noted as to been offered a draft pick ,why not take it ? This is upsetting to me ,as the team should come first,not a player. A pick is still a pick .. dumb move .

    1. No, it may have been like Osweiler. Teams would want the Niners to give up a pick to take him off their hands. Certainly, they would have wanted the Niners to offset his salary.

  24. Huh! They cut Brooks while Fatboy A.Lynch is still on the roster? Uh, was that one of Grant’s forecasts? I didn’t remember it quite that way.

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