49ers release Spencer -- cut 3.3M from cap

March 15, 2012, 4:33 pm
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The 49ers on Thursday released veteran cornerback Shawntae Spencer, a move that clears 3.3 million in salary cap space."The 49ers would like to thank Shawntae for his eight years of service to the organization and the Bay Area community," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement."He has always represented himself, his family and this organization with the utmost class. We wish him, and his family, the very best."RELATED: Spencer's kindness strikes chord with lifetime 49ers fanSpencer opened training camp last season as a presumptive starter, but he sustained a hamstring injury that sidelined him for several weeks. He saw limited action throughout the season. Even when he was healthy late in the season, Spencer was the 49ers' No. 5 cornerback and was inactive for both playoff games.After the season, the 49ers gave Spencer permission to seek a trade, as it was clear that the 49ers would not bring him back at his scheduled salary.A second-round pick in the 2004 draft, Spencer saw action in 97 games with the 49ers with 72 starts. He started every game in the 2009 and 2010 seasons before playing just nine games with no starts last season.The 49ers began the day with 20.2 million in cap room. That figure includes the 1.6 million credit given from an NFL ruling that punishes Washington and Dallas for actions during the uncapped year. It does not include Carlos Rogers' new contract, which has yet to be signed.