49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

May 27, 2008
Butler busted in Reno; cut by 49ers

The 49ers have released Ezra Butler following his Saturday arrest in Reno. "We've got numbers at the position," said coach Mike Nolan, noting that there are three players -- Jeff Ulbrich, Dontarrious Thomas and Larry Grant -- at the so-called "ted" linebacker spot Butler was playing. For more on why the 49ers cut ties with the rookie, read below:

The 49ers were excited when they snagged University of Nevada linebacker Ezra Butler as an undrafted free agent just hours after the draft ended last month. Now, however, they may be regretting the decision. According to a piece in the Reno Gazette-Journal, Butler was arrested for DUI drugs and marijuana possession after a traffic stop in Reno Saturday night. So far, the team has no comment.


As is the case with all undrafted free agents, Butler is a longshot to make the 53-man roster. However, he is being tested at a position of great need for the 49ers -- ted linebacker -- and he was the team's top pick-up following the draft. He certainly had a very good shot of making the practice squad. Whether that is still the case remains to be seen.

Ever since Antonio Bryant's wild ride in San Meteo County in 2006, 49ers' players mostly have kept their names out of the police blotters. That string of good behavior, however, ended last month when defensive back Donald Strickland was arrested for public intoxication and resisting arrest. The recent arrests come as commissioner Roger Goodell is trying to whip the league into shape. In fact, in a few days it won't solely be the players who are held responsible for their actions. Beginning June 1, the teams they play for also could see fines if the behavior results in a suspension.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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