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AWOL Niners SS Lewis requests his release

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By PFW staff

After leaving the team Friday, Niners starting SS Michael Lewis has requested his release.

PFW correspondent Kevin Lynch reported that Lewis' agent, Rodney Williams, said the team informed Lewis on Friday morning that rookie Taylor Mays will be phased into Lewis' starting role. This came after Lewis had been told his starting role wouldn't change.

"It's just the mixed messages," said Williams. "He was blindsided. He didn't want to leave. It felt like he was family."

The 49ers were hoping Lewis would tutor Mays after he took a pay cut before the season.

The way we see it

This is just more drama for the 49ers, who have already seen two players leave the team since training camp began. DE Kentwan Balmer never reported to training camp and was traded to the Seahawks. RB Glen Coffee left the team to finish his degree. The 49ers, who were a preseason favorite in the NFC West, are 0-3 and taking on the Falcons in Week Four. Mays may be the team's strong safety of the future, but the Niners would prefer for him to gradually gain the starting role under Lewis' leadership.

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