SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers considered cornerback Tramaine Brock a starter, general manager John Lynch said.
So it was not a football decision to release Brock late last week, just hours after it was learned he had been arrested in connection with a domestic-violence incident.
“I think there’s been some conjecture that we didn’t think highly of him,” Lynch said. “That couldn’t have been further from the truth. He was a starting player for us. So that was not easy.”
Brock, 28, started 31 games over the past two seasons after being plagued by injuries in 2013 and ’14 after winning the starting jobs after strong training camps.
“I can also tell you that it wasn’t meant to send a message,” Lynch said. “I think you let those things happen organically and we did what we felt was the right situation in that situation. It was not easy and felt like it was something that we needed to do.”
Lynch said he and coach Kyle Shanahan have spoken a lot about “football character” and how important it is to build a roster with the right kind of individuals.
“I think where we’ve been consistent is we have said that character is important to us, football character and I think that’s for a lot of reasons,” Lynch said.
“As those situations arise -- and hopefully there won’t be a lot them -- we’re going to treat each one of them as a unique and different situation. That’s what we did the other day. I can tell you guys that I understood when I stepped into this job that there would be tough decisions and I also understood that part of my job is to make tough and hard decisions. I can tell you that the gravity of that situation, you’re affecting an organization, you’re protecting your organization, but you’re also dealing with the family. So, that was not easy.”
The 49ers held their local pro day on Wednesday at the team’s practice facility in Santa Clara. Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who is from Oakley and attended Freedom High School, was eligible to attend. Mixon was suspended for the 2014 season after punching a female Oklahoma student that year.
Lynch said he did not know whether Mixon was asked to attend the pro day and would not divulge if Mixon remains on the team’s draft board.
“I think in terms of our board, we’ve made an effort to be as transparent as possible, but just one thing that I believe is that we’re not going to share some specifics of our board, who’s on it, who’s off it,” Lynch said. “So I think that applies to that young man, as well.”