Sports Out West

49ers free agency 2013: David Akers likely to be released

CandlestickPub

The San Francisco 49ers are likely to release kicker David Akers prior to the start of free agency on March 12, a league source told Adam Caplan of PhiladelphiaEagles.com

He was scheduled to make $3 million in 2013 and the move will save the team valuable cap space prior to the upcoming free agent signing period. Akers struggled mightily in 2012 after a record-setting season in 2011 where he had 44 field goals and a team-record 166 points. Last year, he made just 69.0 percent of his kicks, which was his lowest conversion rate since he began kicking full-time in 2000. 

San Francisco entertained the idea of cutting him in 2012 when they brought in Nate Kaeding and Billy Cundiff to potentially compete for the job after he missed several critical kicks throughout the season. Major questions arose as to whether or not he could be trusted in the playoffs, but he managed to make important kicks when called upon, making 4-of-5 postseason kicks and all three in Super Bowl XLVII. 

Phil Dawson, Rob Bironas, Lawrence Tynes and Kaeding are all available as free agents this season. 

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.