SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -The San Francisco 49ers released underachieving receiver Ashley Lelie while making their final roster cuts Saturday.
Lelie signed a two-year, $4.3 million deal with San Francisco last year, including a $2 million signing bonus, but he made little impact on his third NFL team. Lelie had just 10 receptions for 115 yards last season while struggling with injuries including a strained quadriceps, and the former first-round pick never emerged as the deep threat San Francisco needed.
Lelie then missed most of the 49ers' training camp this season with a strained calf, watching from the sidelines as Jason Hill and rookie Josh Morgan moved past him on the depth chart. Lelie played in the 49ers' exhibition finale against San Diego on Friday night, but didn't catch a pass in his only preseason action.
It became a durability issue,'' 49ers coach Mike Nolan said.He hasn't practiced much. If you can't count on somebody, for whatever reason, it's a tough call.''
Lelie caught 54 passes for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns during his best NFL season with Denver in 2004, but hasn't come close to replicating those numbers since then with the Broncos, the Atlanta Falcons or San Francisco. Lelie's laid-back attitude never endeared him to Nolan, and the receiver seemed to expect to be cut after the Chargers game.
I kind of knew where I was on the team,'' Lelie said.I was on the bubble. ... I haven't got a lot of game time, but they've seen me in practice. They probably already made their decision before this game.''
The 49ers dropped Lelie even though offensive coordinator Mike Martz would prefer to have six receivers on the 53-man roster. San Francisco has just five - Isaac Bruce, Bryant Johnson, Arnaz Battle, Hill and Morgan - but could look to add another when other teams make their cuts.
San Francisco also waived fullback Moran Norris, a two-year starter who lost his job to Zak Keasey during training camp. Defensive tackle Atiyyah Ellison, linebacker Dennis Haley, defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey and offensive tackles Alan Reuber and Joe Toledo were the other veterans waived.
The 49ers also placed linebacker Jay Moore on injured reserve for the second time in his two-season NFL career. Moore tore his biceps in the preseason finale.
Nolan said linebacker Parys Haralson should be able to practice Wednesday despite spraining his left shoulder against San Diego.