Wednesday afternoon, the San Francisco 49ers announced the release of kicker David Akers following two seasons with the team. His struggles throughout 2012 made the release almost inevitable.
In making the move, the 49ers cleared $3.05 million in cap space. Prior to that move the 49ers were a little over $1 million under the salary cap. With Akers off the books, the 49ers now sit a little over $4 million under the salary cap. They will carry $566,668 in dead money from Akers due to bonus pro-ration, but otherwise they are free and clear. You can view Jason Hurley's updated 2013 cap numbers at our NN page.
The 49ers will move even further under the cap when the Alex Smith trade becomes official after the new league year starts. The Akers release impacts the cap immediately, but trades cannot happen until 1:00 p.m. PT this coming Tuesday. Assuming no hang-ups, the Alex Smith trade will
clear another $9.75 million in cap space (Fooch's Note: As Jason Hurley pointed out in the comments, it is in fact $8.5 million, not $9.75 million). That will get the 49ers just a shade under $14 million in cap space when the new league year starts.
The 49ers could clear further cap space if they so chose, whether it be by extending someone like Justin Smith, or releasing other players. We went through a variety of potential cap casualty candidates earlier this offseason. One potential candidate is outside linebacker Parys Haralson. If the 49ers decided to part ways with Haralson, they would save $2.87 million.
For now though, the 49ers are looking at a solid chunk of change available for wheeling and dealing. Do you have specific ideas on how you might use that cap space? Do you make the deal for Darrelle Revis or Percy Harvin? Do you lock up your young talent? Do you make a play for another free agent? If you feel like playing around, check out Over The Cap for a variety of current cap figures around the league. I prefer them over Spotrac.