Defensive lineman Cedric Thornton of the San Francisco 49ers is retiring after seven seasons in the NFL, the team announced on Wednesday. He signed with the team on July 25.
The 49ers signed defensive tackle Chris Jones to a one-year deal to replace Thornton.
The 6-4, 290-pound Thornton was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011 as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Arkansas.
Thornton played in 89 games, with 48 starts, over seven seasons with the Eagles (2011-15), the Dallas Cowboys (2016) and the Buffalo Bills (2017). He recorded 278 tackles, 7.5 sacks, six passes defensed, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. He added six tackles in three postseason games.
The 6-1, 293-pound Jones, a five-year veteran, is beginning his second stint with the 49ers, who claimed on him waivers from the Miami Dolphins in 2016. He started the final six games of the 2016 season for the 49ers, making 21 tackles.
In 2017, he spent the season on the 49ers' Injured Reserve List.
Jones has appeared in 41 games (29 starts) and registered 107 tackles and 9.0 sacks in his career.
Jones was drafted out of Bowling Green in the sixth round (198th overall) by the Houston Texans in 2013. He was released by Houston that August of that year, spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was later acquired on waivers by the New England Patriots.
In three seasons with New England (2013-15), he appeared in 28 games (23 starts), recording 79 tackles and nine sacks. In four postseason games (two starts) with the Patriots, he had nine tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery.
Jones was released by New England in 2016 and signed with the Miami Dolphins and made seven tackles in seven games with the Dolphins before being waived in November. He signed with the 49ers, where he spent the rest of the season, then was signed by the New York Jets in June, but was released after nine days.