SS Michael Lewis had his request granted on Monday when the 49ers released him.
Lewis, a nine-year veteran, requested his release late last week after learning that rookie Taylor Mays will be phased into Lewis' starting role.
"I want to thank Michael for his hard work and leadership as a 49er," said head coach Mike Singletary. "We wish him and his family all the best."
Lewis started three games this season, recording seven tackles. He had started every game but one the past three seasons for the 49ers.
In Mays' first start, the rookie recorded 11 tackles and a touchdown when he stayed in-bounds as he fielded a blocked punt near the back of the endzone.
The way we see it
Singletary had originally told Lewis his job was safe, so this is just more drama for the Niners. Lewis became the third 49ers player to leave the team this season. 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 lost to the Falcons on Sunday and are one of four teams that are 0-4 through four weeks.