The 14-year veteran and six-time Pro Bowler was due to make $3 million in 2013. After a disappointing individual campaign in 2012, it was expected the 49ers would release the 38-year-old to save money.
Akers was a Pro Bowler as recently as the 2011 season, but he fell off dramatically in 2012. After knocking down 44-of-52 field-goal attempts in 2011 (84.6 percent), he converted just 29-of-42 attempts in 2012 (69 percent) and ranked 30th among 31 qualifying kickers.
That included going just 9-of-19 from 40 yards or more.
According to 49ers.com, "In 2011, he set the NFL record for field goals made (44), field goals attempted (52), and points with no touchdowns (166). His 166 points also set the franchise single-season record."
But as quickly as he gained a loyal fanbase in San Francisco, he lost it all in 2012.
By the end of the regular season, the 49ers actually brought in former Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff to try out for the position. That was especially eye-opening considering Cundiff missed a field goal that would have sent the Ravens and New England Patriots into overtime in the AFC Championship Game in 2011-2012.
The 49ers have a lot of room to work with this offseason. Not only do they have a significant amount of cap space, but they have also acquired 15 picks for the 2013 NFL draft alone. After clearing more cap space with the release of Akers, expect San Francisco to do some serious wheeling and dealing this offseason.
That's a scary thought considering the 49ers made it to the Super Bowl last season.