The 49ers announced they've released David Akers, ending a two year tenure as the team's placekicker. This decision clear $3 million in cap space, currently giving the 49ers a total of more than $4 million in cap space. On March 12, they will free up $9.75 million in cap space when Alex Smith will be traded to the Kansas City Chiefs for a second round pick and a conditional 2014 draft pick.
General manager Trent Baalke released the following statement:
“The 49ers would like to thank David for his service, dedication and leadership over the past two years. He is a true professional who represented himself and this organization with class. We wish him, and his family, all the best.”
This move is not surprising as Akers struggled this season after having a record 2011 season. In 2011, made the most field goals out of any kicker with 44 and attempted a record 52 kick attempts.
During the 2012 season, Akers missed 13 field goal attempts and showed inconsistency when kicking from 40 yards or more. He made a record-tying 63-yard field goal in week 1 against the Green Bay Packers.
With the release of Akers, the 49ers will look to have a new kicker in the 2013 season through either the draft or via free agency. Free agent kickers who could be signed include Josh Brown, Phil Dawson, Nick Folk, Shayne Graham, Jason Hanson, Mike Nugent, Nate Kaeding, and Lawrence Tynes, Rob Bironas, Steven Hauschka and Billy Cundiff. Cundiff, spent last January with the 49ers to promote competition for Akers. He was released right before the NFC Championship game against the Falcons.