According to a source close to Adam Caplan, the San Francisco 49ers are expected to release veteran kicker David Akers before the start of free agency, and this news from Caplan comes as no surprise. The 49ers were never expected to keep Akers, and his fall from being one of the league’s best kickers to one of the league’s worst in just one season shows just how quickly fortunes can turn for kickers. Just look at fellow 49ers kicker Billy Cundiff’s fall. Cundiff, by the way, actually lost to Akers for the gig of kicking for the Niners in the Super Bowl.
The main reason why Akers is being released is because of his expensive $3 million salary. He connected on just 29 of 42 attempts last season, which is utterly abysmal and marked a huge low for Akers. Even though he should bounce back, that sort of a season does not sit well with a team (it certainly shouldn’t), and the fact that Akers would have made $3 million sealed the deal.
The 38-year-old did bounce back in the playoffs, and Akers should be able to find a gig after posting much better seasons in the recent past. He might only get an invite for a kicking competition, but I have a feeling we will see Akers starting at kicker for another team, but certainly at a much cheaper price after putting up a terrible 2012 campaign.
Shayne Graham and Lawrence Tynes are two kickers the San Francisco 49ers could take a close look at this offseason, and there are a few other solid options available who will come at a much more reasonable price. The big issue is cost over replacement, and the Niners are correct in thinking that they can find someone who can do about as good of a job next year at a cheaper price.
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