Just over three years ago, the analytic website Pro Football Focus labeled 49ers cornerback Tramaine Brock a “secret superstar.”
The former undrafted free agent worked his way from special teamer to nickel corner to starting corner in 2013. That season he had five interceptions. His future appeared bright and he projected to be a part of the 49ers' plans for a long time. And, after missing most of the 2014 season to injury, he returned to start 31 games over the past two seasons, with four interceptions and 25 passes defensed. Going into 2017, Brock again appeared to be a key part of the 49ers secondary plans.
But Brock no longer is a 49er, having been released Friday by the team following his arrest Thursday night by Santa Clara police on suspicion of felony domestic violence after a reported incident with his girlfriend.
Brock was entering the final season of a four-year contract. According to Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com, the release saves the team about $3.5 million more under the salary cap for the coming season.
Earlier this offseason, new head coach Kyle Shanahan had stated the 49ers would not tolerate off-field legal issues by their players.
“Our intentions, no matter what it is, is to do things the right way, to commit to the right people, to work extremely hard and make the right football decisions,” Shanahan said at the time. “You don’t always make the right decisions, but I can promise you guys we’re going to do everything we can to do that. We’re going to hold people accountable. We’re going to do it the right way.”
Even before the release of Brock, the 49ers were projected to be in need of help at cornerback in the upcoming NFL draft that begins April 27. Brock’s absence makes the 49ers’ needs at the position even more acute.