RB Lawrence Phillips's stormy tenure with the 49ers ended yesterday when the team waived him. He was still serving a three-game suspension for defying the coaching staff at the time of his release. Team officials said soon after imposing the suspension on Nov. 12 that Phillips, who has struck out with three teams because of a string of personality clashes and run-ins with the law, would not play again for the 49ers.

KRAMER'S SEASON OVER: The Chargers placed QB Erik Kramer on injured reserve with a neck injury, and the team's medical staff has advised the 11-year veteran to retire. The Chargers had the option of placing Kramer on IR or releasing him. After leading the Chargers to three wins in relief of Jim Harbaugh, he melted down in a rash of turnovers at the beginning of the Chargers' current five-game losing streak and was benched.

LEAF TROUBLES: Suspended Chargers QB Ryan Leaf played flag football at a local park during the weekend, disappointing team officials and raising questions about whether he violated his contract. Coach Mike Riley said he spoke with Leaf on Monday, and the second-year pro admitted that he had played flag football on Saturday. According to reports, Leaf sprained an ankle and had to be helped off the field.

ROOKIE QB OUT: Bengals rookie QB Akili Smith might not play again this season because of a sprained toe.