Lee, 32, is a three-time Pro Bowler. He was made expendable by San Francisco's fifth-round selection of punter Bradley Pinion out of Clemson.
Pinion told ESPN after being drafted that the Niners told him it would be an "open competition" for the job. He averaged 41.1 yards per punt in his college career. The Browns are expected to release incumbent Spencer Lanning, who also seemed to think he was on the way outs, per a tweet.
The Niners drafted Lee in the sixth round of the 2004 draft and he'd remained with the team ever since. His career net average of 39.5 yards per punt and career gross average of 46.2 yards are both good for fifth-best in NFL history.
- Jeremy Woo