Hours after news of his domestic violence arrest became public, the San Francisco 49ers released cornerback Tramaine Brock.
It was the right decision.
There was enough information in the police report to condemn Brock of injuring a woman, and when you do that, you lose your privilege of playing in the NFL.
Let’s be honest, all decisions are football decisions first, and the 49ers knew they’d be creating a hole at cornerback. Although he’s not a premier player, Brock started all 16 games last season. At the very least he would’ve been counted on as depth in 2017. The 49ers could’ve stuck by him, released a statement saying we need more information. Ultimately, he was an expendable player.
Give credit to GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan for acting quickly on this. They’ve preached about high character men since the moment they were hired. Even if Brock beat the charges, the stigma of domestic violence does not leave an NFL player. These are sensitive times, and while forgiveness is preached, it sends a very conflicting message keeping a player like this on your roster. Lynch and Shanahan want to build the locker room the right way and holding onto Brock was not worth the scrutiny.
As for the football ramifications, we might want to pump the brakes on moving Jimmie Ward to safety. He had a pretty damn good year playing outside and nickel last year. There’s also Rashard Robinson who had as stellar of a rookie year as you can have on the 32nd ranked defense. Eric Reid and Jaquiski Tartt are the safeties, and the 49ers are connected to both LSU’s Jamal Adams and Ohio State’s Malik Hooker with the No. 2 overall pick.
Cornerback is a position the team did not address in free agency. Lynch could look there before the draft to give himself a safety net and another veteran at the position. Dontae Johnson, Keith Reaser, Will Redmond, Jacorey Sheppard and Prince Charles Iworah are the other corners listed on the roster.
Not every guy in the locker room has to be a choir boy. But there are certain standards men are held to, and hitting a woman violates that standard. Brock may latch on somewhere else, but he’s not welcome on the 49ers any longer. Another strong, firm, correct decision from San Francisco’s new regime.
Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2010, Brock started 40 of the 80 games he appeared in. He logged 157 tackles and 11 interceptions. This is the 15th time a 49er has been arrested since 2012.