49ers Blog and Q&A

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

June 18, 2010
Niners release two players

The arrival of Manny Lawson, Nate Clements and Shawntae Spencer wasn't good news for everyone. One day after the outside linebacker and two cornerbacks returned to practice, the 49ers announced that they released outside linebacker Brandon Long and cornerback Keith Smith.

Smith had been the team's No. 3 cornerback before Clements' and Spencer's arrivals. He was picked up last season after Clements injured his shoulder. Unfortunately, his most prominent play came when Seahawks receiver Deon Butler caught a 32-yard pass in front of him in the waning moments of the 49ers' Dec. 6 loss in Seattle.

The 49ers were interested in Long, a Michigan State product, after last year's draft but were scared off by a foot injury. The team decided to bring in Long this year after he had a screw inserted into his right foot last year. He had been playing with the third-team defense.

-- 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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