The 49ers just announced they have traded four-time first-team All-Pro punter Andy Lee to the Cleveland Browns. In return, the Niners will receive a seventh-round draft pick in 2017, according to Adam Schefter.
Lee (32) was the eighth-best punter in the NFL last season according to Pro Football Focus. The 49ers were scheduled to pay Lee $2.55 million in 2015 before they traded him to Cleveland.
Here’s a statement from general manager Trent Baalke: “For the last 11 years, Andy has been a tremendous representative of the 49ers organization both on the field and in the community. While he may be best known for his production on the field, we have come to know Andy as a great teammate and family man. We would like to thank Andy for his commitment to this organization, while wishing him and his family continued success throughout his career and beyond.”
And here’s a statement from Lee: “It has truly been an amazing 11 years with the 49ers organization, and I’m thankful for everything they have done for me. 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!”
The Niners’ new punter is rookie fifth-round draft pick Bradley Pinion. He probably will kick kickoffs as well, because he has a tremendously strong leg and 40-year-old kicker Phil Dawson does not.