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Which 49ers might depart before next season?

  • Quarterback Alex Smith. The San Francisco 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals, 27-14, on Sunday, December, 30, 2012. (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?

Tavares Gooden (UFA): He's the most athletic of the 49ers' backup linebackers, and he's probably the most talented of the 49ers' coverage players. However, that unit was not as good as it was in 2011, a fact that was triple-underlined in red ink by Jacoby Jones' record kickoff return Sunday.

Jonathan Goodwin: Goodwin is exactly what the 49ers need on the offensive line — a smart, veteran center whose laid-back personalty is the perfect complement to the more fiery Anthony Davis, Alex Boone and Joe Staley. The other offensive linemen almost consider Goodwin, 34, a father figure, and it's unlikely the 49ers will break apart the group. Goodwin is due to count more than $5 million against the cap, and there are two youngsters — Kilgore and Looney — who can play center.

Larry Grant (UFA): The team's No. 3 inside linebacker didn't get a lot of attention as a restricted free agent last year, and he could be back next season. Grant is good on special teams and good in the locker room and has shown he's a capable backup if either Willis or Bowman goes down.

Clark Haggans: The veteran rarely played (48 snaps) on a defensive front that did very little substituting at outside linebacker. Haggans likely wants to be on a squad where he is better utilized.


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