Four-time Pro Bowl punter Andy Lee departed from the 49ers with class on Saturday after he was informed of a trade that sent him to the Cleveland Browns.
“It has truly been an amazing 11 years with the 49ers organization, and I’m thankful for everything they have done for me,” Lee said. “San Francisco gave me the opportunity to play in the NFL by drafting me in 2004, and will forever be a special place for me and my family.
[MAIOCCO: 49ers trade punter Andy Lee to Browns]
“Thank you to the York family, my teammates, the coaches, the football staff and the Faithful for your support over the years. It’s been a great time!”
Lee, who came to the 49ers as a sixth-round draft pick in 2004, is being replaced by rookie Bradley Pinion, a fifth-round selection. The 49ers will receive a seventh-round pick from the Browns in the 2017 draft.
Lee appeared in all 176 games over his 11 seasons with the 49ers. He holds the team records in all major punting categories, including punts (941), gross average (46.2), net average (39.5) and punts downed inside the 20-yard line (300).
“For the last 11 years, Andy has been a tremendous representative of the 49ers organization both on the field and in the community,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “While he may be best known for his production on the field, we have come to know Andy as a great teammate and family man. We would like to thank Andy for his commitment to this organization, while wishing him and his family continued success throughout his career and beyond.”