Update: Jim Harbaugh has chosen to stick with Akers as his kicker for the Super Bowl. This story was written before the announcement.
If the the 49ers choose to have a kicker replace David Akers in the Super Bowl, it will not Billy Cundiff.
Cundiff was released by the 49ers before the NFC Championship, and NFL rules prohibit him from signing with the team again until after the Super Bowl. Cundiff was brought in by the 49ers following the regular season to compete with Akers for the starting kicker spot in the postseason. Akers impressed enough to keep his job, and Cundiff was subsequently released.
However, after clanking a 38-yard field goal off the left goalpost during Sunday’s NFC Championship game, Akers should have the 49ers coaching staff and management worried about their veteran left-footed kicker in the Super Bowl.
“Three inches to the right and I would have had a perfect game today,” Akers told the San Francisco Chronicle via NFL.com after the game. “All touchbacks, real deep balls so they couldn’t get returns. I felt really good going out and kicking the ball. I thought it would come in a little bit more.”
“I’m here until they tell me otherwise,” he continued.
Should they choose to sign another kicker, Cundiff would not be an option. The Sideline View lists the available free agent kickers, and they are:
- Neil Rackers – spent 11 seasons with the Bengals and Cardinals, has made 80 percent of his field goals. All-Pro selection in 2005.
- John Kasay – 43 year-old veteran has 22 years of experience kicking. All-Pro selection in 1996.
- Dave Rayner – Journeyman has spent eight seasons with eight different teams. 72 percent field goal percentage.
- Justin Medlock – Waived by the Panthers earlier this year after making 7/10 field goals.
- David Buehler – Starting kicker for the Cowboys in 2010, made 75 percent of his field goals.
- Rhys Lloyd – Spent five years in the league, has yet to attempt a kick.
- Garrett Lindholm – Undrafted free agent, no attempts yet.
What do you think? Should the Niners call up one of these free agents and give them a look? Or should they stick with Akers?