A few thoughts on Clements, Asomugha

July, 27, 2011
7/27/11
6:14
PM ET
Releasing cornerback Nate Clements would clear more than enough salary-cap room for the San Francisco 49ers to sign Nnamdi Asomugha.

Whether or not Clements' release is imminent, Clements' current contract is obviously untenable. Something has to give whether or not the 49ers wind up landing Asomugha.

Clements' contract is scheduled to count more than $17 million against the 49ers' salary cap this season.

Releasing Clements would mean the 2007 free-agent addition from the Buffalo Bills would not receive $42.5 million in salaries for the 2011 through 2014 seasons. The team has paid $13.5 million to him in salaries to this point, plus a $10 million option bonus. The contract also included $500,000 in annual workout bonuses.

Clements has preferred to work out on his own, forgoing the offseason bonus money, but the new labor agreement will entitle him to $100,000 of his $500,000 workout bonus this season if the 49ers release him Thursday, the earliest point teams can release players.

Clements started 53 of 64 regular-season games for the 49ers, including all 16 last season. He picked off 10 passes after collecting 23 interceptions in his first six seasons, all with Buffalo. Clements could be a physical player against the run and pass alike. He gave Larry Fitzgerald problems at times, relatively speaking.

Some 49ers fans I heard from expected more from an $80 million cornerback, but Clements isn't going to collect that much money from the team. Simply put, he has been a good player making good money by NFL standards.

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