“We’re going to have guys with great character, football character and we’re going to have guys that are interested in making their community a better place.” — John Lynch (Feb. 7)
“I always feel that when you have a good player, as long as he’s a great person and has great character, then you can never go wrong and those are the guys you’ve got to take care of … It’s not just about talent. You need strong people with high character.” — Kyle Shanahan (Feb. 7)
Lynch and Shanahan may have been talking about actual good, decent human beings when they were talking about character, but it’s possible they were mostly concerned with the mental and emotional strength required to be good teammates and win football games. We’ll find out the true intentions of what they said during their introductory press conference, because the details of Tramaine Brock’s domestic abuse incident seem pretty damning.
SANTA CLARA — San Francisco 49ers cornerback Tramaine Brock was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of a domestic-violence incident with his girlfriend that inflicted “visible injuries,” according to Santa Clara police.
Officers were called about 9:35 p.m. to the 4000 block of Headen Way for reports of domestic violence and found the injured woman who “was in a dating relationship with” Brock, police said in a news release.
Brock was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence and booked at the Santa Clara County jail. As of 11:30 a.m Friday., he was still being processed, jail records show.
Cutting Brock wouldn’t be too painful from a cap standpoint, as it would only result in $750k in dead money and would save the 49ers over $3 million in cap space. However, Brock has been the team’s No. 1 cornerback for multiple seasons, and the 49ers have a muddled secondary situation going into the draft as it’s not certain whether Jimmie Ward will play safety or remain a nickel corner.
None of this should matter. Even if Brock was as good as peak Darrelle Revis, the 49ers dealt with these kinds of arrests before Lynch and Shanahan arrived and the pair essentially promised that the organization would have a zero-tolerance policy on these matters. Unless they were only talking about football.
Update: The 49ers released Brock.
The team’s statement, which I received via email:
The San Francisco 49ers today announced they have released CB Tramaine Brock.
Bravo, 49ers. Teams can’t always control the behavior of their players or other employees, but they can control how they respond to players or other employees who commit acts of domestic violence and/or put themselves in situations where they face these accusations/charges. The “visible injuries” part of the story appeared to make this decision relatively easy as an outsider, but we haven’t seen the same expedient decision-making in the past from this organization (or several other teams in the NFL and other leagues) in the past.
With this decision to cut a starting cornerback, Lynch and Shanahan earned some credibility today as they embark on what should be an arduous franchise rehabilitation project. Every positive step counts, though.