The San Francisco 49ers released long-time veteran Brian Jennings amidst their 22 roster moves today. "Long-time veteran" does not do Jennings justice, as he was a 13-year veteran who was the longest tenured member of the team. Jennings was drafted in 2000, and had a chance to play with Bryant Young and Jerry Rice.
You could make the argument that he was among the more popular Bay Area athletes. How many long-snappers have their own segment on a radio show? New long-snapper Kevin McDermott spoke with the media earlier today, and he seemed to recognize Jennings impact on the Bay Area, as he said he simply wanted to earn the trust of his teammates AND the city. How often does a long snapper talk about earning the trust of a city?
Jennings knew he was potentially on the chopping block, and he behaved with the utmost class throughout. He previously talked about how he offered advice to McDermott, even though he knew McDermott was gunning for his job. Jennings spoke of his love for the 49ers and how he wanted them to have the best special teams units they could possible have.
Jennings issued a statement upon his release, and it reflects just how classy a guy he is. I highly recommend reading the entire statement
"Today, I feel as though I've been honorably discharged from the team I love.
First, I'd like to thank the York family. Dr. York, Denise, Jed, Tony, Jenna and Mara.. You have blessed my life, God Bless you.
I'd like to thank the men who brought me to the team and trusted me to contribute: Bill Walsh, Jon McVay, and Bill McPherson.
To the various coaches that I played for - thank you. Specifically, the first staff lead by head coach Steve Mariucci, it was that group that taught me how to be a pro.
In addition, I'd like to thank this most recent staff, led by coach Jim Harbaugh, who has returned the 49ers to playing dominate football. I love this game and these men are true football men.
I'd like to thank my teammates who are my brothers, and heroes. Some of them who had the greatest influence on me and my closest friends include:
Ray Brown, Garrison Hearst, Derrick Deese, Ken Norton Jr., Jeff Garcia, Derek Smith, Jon Engelberger, Jeff Ulbrich, Julian Peterson, Eric Johnson, Terry Jackson, Brandon Lloyd, Frank Gore, Mike Robison, Joe Nedney, Andy Lee, and Vernon Davis.
Currently the team is full of men who are more than capable of not only carrying on a tradition of winning but bringing Championships back to the 49ers.
In a very real way I learned to be a man as a 49ers. Molded through the preparation and performance of game day. Completely tested while on and off the field this team, game, and group of men made me who I am today.
God has blessed me, protected me, and guided my path. Now, as I move on, I have faith that God will continue to do for me what He has done my entire life.
God Bless you and God bless the San Francisco 49ers."
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