The Ahmad Brooks era is over in San Francisco. After eight seasons, Brooks is no longer a member of the 49ers.

On Friday, the 49ers announced they released Brooks after they reportedly shopped him for weeks. By cutting Brooks, the 49ers saved $5.2 million in cap space, according to Spotrac.

"We would like to thank Ahmad for his nine years of service and contributions to the 49ers," 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement. "In that time, he played a significant role on some formidable defensive units that helped this team achieve great success. We feel good about the depth and competition along our defensive front and believe that by making this decision now it will give Ahmad a head start on exploring his options with other teams. We wish him and his family nothing but the best."

Brooks never was as big of a name as his counterparts at linebacker -- like Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman -- but that shouldn't take away from how solid of a player he was for the 49ers. From 2009-16, he registered 264 tackles, 51.5 sacks, and three interceptions. In the playoffs, he notched 6.5 sacks, including 4.5 during the 2013 postseason.

Brooks went to one Pro Bowl and was voted second team All-Pro twice in his career. He was an important cog on a dominant 49ers' defense that almost brought a championship to San Francisco under Jim Harbaugh. 

The current 49ers roster now looks nothing like those championship-caliber teams. Willis retired along with Justin Smith. Brooks is gone. So is Aldon Smith. Bowman is still there, but he's been negatively impacted by injuries. Now, the 49ers' defense is relying on young upstarts like DeForest Buckner and Reuben Foster. And the 49ers are already onto their third coach since Harbaugh bolted after the 2014 season. 

How the times have changed:

For Brooks, this doesn't seem like it would mark the end of his career. 

Though he's 33, he's still productive. Last year, he appeared in all 16 games and collected 41 tackles and six sacks. Someone out there should bolster their depth at linebacker by bringing in Brooks.