SAN FRANCISCO — Braylon Edwards became a disappointment during an injury-plagued year during San Francisco’s resurgent 2011 season.
The struggling wide receiver was released by the 49ers on Tuesday three months after undergoing surgery on his right knee that limited him.
Edwards tweeted the news early Tuesday, attributing the move to his injury, which “required more time to rehab and hasn’t allowed me to re-sync with the offense.”
The 49ers confirmed Edwards’ release.
“I wish the 49ers organization the best of luck during the playoffs,” Edwards said in a statement on his website. “I will be working hard this off season to strengthen my knee and prepare for the 2012 season. Thanks for your continued support and for being such loyal fans.”
San Francisco needs to add a receiver. Ted Ginn Jr., is nursing a left ankle injury sustained on the second-half kickoff return against Pittsburgh on Dec. 19, while Kyle Williams went down with a head injury in last Saturday’s 19-17 win at Seattle. Versatile tight end Delanie Walker also was hurt against the Seahawks, suffering a jaw injury; it is believed to be broken. The team hopes to get him back for the playoffs.
Coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday the team might look outside the organization this week to fill spots — and that looks to be the case now — heading into the regular-season finale Sunday at St. Louis. The 49ers are trying to secure the NFC’s No. 2 seed a first-round bye.
Edwards had 15 catches for 181 yards and no touchdowns in eight games with five starts for the NFC West champion 49ers (12-3) after receiving a $3.5 million, one-year contract in August. That gave him a fresh start under coach and fellow Michigan man Harbaugh.
He was inactive against St. Louis on Dec. 4 and again for the Monday night game. In a loss at Arizona on Dec. 11, Edwards had no catches and expressed his surprise not to be used more in the offense.
Harbaugh has said Edwards’ performance in games and practice affected his playing time.
Edwards, the No. 3 pick in the 2005 draft, got hurt early in Week 2 against Dallas on Sept. 18 and missed four games before returning against his former Cleveland team Oct. 30.