The 49ers parted ways with return man LeRoy Vann this morning, a move that likely narrows the punt-return battle to Ted Ginn vs. Kyle Williams. Another candidate, Brandon Jones, is nursing a hamstring injury. Newcomer Kevin Jurovich also may be given a shot at the job,
Vann was seen waiting for a shuttle to take him to the team hotel at 9 a.m. this morning. His agent, Karim Lawrence, said he was surprised by the move because Vann has improved his ball security since the June OTAs when he struggled to hold onto the ball in windy afternoon practices. All of the team's return men had drops in June, but Vann struggled the most. Lawrence said other teams were interested in Vann following the draft and that he's already spoken to the Titans about Vann.
Vann also had been playing cornerback for the 49ers, but he found defensive snaps hard to come by after Nate Clements and Shawntae Spencer re-joined the team in late June and after Will James recovered from an injury and joined the lineup in training camp. The 49ers told Vann that he was a victim of a numbers game. Because the 49ers had suffered injuries in other areas, namely linebacker, they needed his roster spot. So far the team has not signed any new players. They will need an extra roster space when nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin re-joins the team.
**UPDATE** Safety Reggie Smith returned some punts alongside Williams and Ginn this morning.
-- Matt Barrows