MONDAY, 4:49pm: The 2017 seventh-round pick going from the Browns to the 49ers is conditional, Howard Balzer of USA Today Sports tweets.
SATURDAY, 1:34pm: The Browns have indeed cut Lanning, notes Jeff Schudel of the News-Herald (via Twitter). He was scheduled to make $585K this season.
1:27pm: Lanning confirms his end of the transaction on his Twitter account, thanking Cleveland fans. As Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle points out (on Twitter), the Browns’ new punter will count $2.55MM against the cap, while the 21-year-old Pinion is slated to make just more than $483K.
12:42pm: 49ers fans have had to watch as some of their favorite, long-time players have departed this offseason. Supporters can add another subtraction to the list, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that San Francisco will be shipping punter Andy Lee to the Browns in exchange for a 2017 seventh-round pick. According to Schefter (via Twitter), the Browns will also be releasing punter Spencer Lanning.
The move shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, as the 49ers selected punter Bradley Pinion if the fifth round of this past year’s draft. Still, there’s no denying the impact Lee had on the team during his 11 seasons in San Francisco. The 32-year-old has yet to miss a game since being selected in the sixth round of the 2004 draft, and he’s collected three Pro Bowl and four All-Pro selections in that span.
Lee is still one of the top punters in the league, and he’s consistently finished in the top-10 of Pro Football Focus’ (subscription required) rankings at the position. Lee averaged 46.8 yards a punt last season, good for sixth in the league. He has the second-most career punts among active players, trailing only Texans’ punter Shane Lechler.
Lee will certainly be an upgrade over Lanning. Despite finishing third in the league in punts (93) last season, the 27-year-old finished in the bottom-10 for average punt distance. Pro Football Focus hasn’t handed out a positive rating to a Browns punter since Brad Maynard in 2011.