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Which 49ers might depart before next season?

  • Despite rumors to the contrary, quarterback Alex Smith probably won't be returning to the 49ers next season. He likely will be traded or released to find his own deal with another team. (JOHN BURGESS / The Press Democrat)

Which 49ers might not be around next season? The list mostly includes the team's pending unrestricted free agents. But there also are a few players — including quarterback Alex Smith — whose 2013 contracts at least make them susceptible to the cutting ax.

Keep in mind that the 49ers expect to have 14 — FOURTEEN! — draft picks in April with perhaps more coming if they can trade Smith.

David Akers: Akers made all three of his field-goal attempts in the Super Bowl, but he needed a gift running-into-the-kicker penalty to erase a 39-yard miss. Akers missed more kicks than any other kicker in 2012, and he's set to make more than $3 million. At the very least, the 49ers will bring in a young kicker, perhaps through the draft. Justin Medlock, who worked out for the 49ers in January, is a Bay Area guy.

Leonard Davis (unrestricted free agent): The big veteran was relegated to the team's jumbo packages and played only 128 snaps this season. He would have been the first guard off the bench, but Alex Boone and Mike Iupati stayed healthy this season. The 49ers don't have much depth at tackle, and Davis could have played there in a pinch.

Ted Ginn (UFA): Ginn saw his workload decreased this season after LaMichael James took over kick-return duties. It's possible that Ginn comes back. He's unlikely to get a lot of attention on the free-agent market (he certainly didn't last year), and he won't be expensive to re-sign.

Dashon Goldson (UFA): Coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday that Goldson is the type of player you “reward” with a multiyear deal. The 49ers have balked at Goldson's asking price in the past. He wanted to be one of the highest-paid safeties in the league after the 2010 season. He is in that category now — All-Pro, Pro Bowl in 2012 — but can the 49ers afford to meet that mark after doling out big deals to Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, and with Colin Kaepernick's contract looming after next season?

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