The 49ers released record-setting kicker David Akers on Wednesday after he struggled with more missed field goals than anyone else in the NFL in 2012.
49ers GM Trent Baalke offered this 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.”
Akers set an NFL record in 2011 after signing a three-year, $9 million contract with the 49ers with 44 field goals in 52 attempts. He opened the 2012 season in impressive fashion with a record-tying 63-yard field goal against the Green Bay Packers.
However, Akers, who underwent offseason surgery on a double sports hernia, fell on rough times. He made just 29 of 42 field-goal attempts during the season. He missed field goals in overtime against the St. Louis Rams in both games this season in games that resulted in a tie and a loss.
The 49ers signed veteran Billy Cundiff at the end of the regular season to compete with Akers for the kicking chores in the playoffs. The 49ers stuck with Akers, who made four of five field-goal attempts in the postseason.
The move saves the 49ers $3 million in cap room. The top kickers scheduled for free agency are Phil Dawson (Cleveland), Lawrence Tynes (New York Giants) and Shayne Graham (Houston).