The 49ers today cut ties with safety Keith Lewis and linebacker Tully Banta-Cain. Lewis, who played at Valley High School in Sacramento, originally was a sixth-round pick out of Oregon in 2004. He started nine games in 2006 but mostly was considered a special teams standout who specialized in blocked punts.
Banta-Cain, meanwhile, was a free-agent acquisition in 2007. He did not provide the pass-rush ability the 49ers expected that season and he had to agree to a sizeable pay cut to remain with San Francisco in 2008. Both Lewis and Banta-Cain play positions the 49ers hope to upgrade this offseason. The team also made a waiver claim for former Buccaneers and Browns quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, but he was awarded instead to the Raiders who finished 2008 with a worse record.
-- Matt Barrows