Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports



The San Francisco 49ers have announced that they have released safety Antoine Bethea.


"Antoine is a true professional in every sense and I have a great deal of respect for the way he has gone about his business throughout his career," said 49ers general manager John Lynch via a statement issued by the team. "We would like to thank him for the positive impact he has had on this team both as a player and as a leader, on and off the field. We wish Antoine, and his family, great success in the future."

Bethea joined the 49ers in March of 2014. During his three seasons with the team, Bethea had 318 tackles, five interceptions, 15 passes defended, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. He led the team in 2016 with 141 tackles and started all 16 games. Bethea was a Pro Bowl selection in 2014 but had already been to two Pro Bowls with the Indianapolis Colts.


Bethea was set to earn a base salary of $5.25 million in 2017 and count $7 million against the cap in the final season of his 4-year, $21 million contract signed in 2014.

On Tuesday, the 49ers officially released another veteran – WR Torrey Smith. Both Bethea and Smith become free agents and can sign with any NFL team immediately.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the moves give the 49ers more than $99 million in cap space.

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