2011 NFL Free Agency: 49ers Possibly Releasing Nate Clements, In The Nnamdi Asomugha Sweepstakes?

Update: It looks like Nate Clements has not yet been informed of his release, though it's still up in the air as to whether or not he will. Jason LaCanfora tweeted that the 49ers have yet to tell him anything in that vein, but that he could still be cut eventually. Maiocco has re-tweeted the link, which of course means absolutely nothing because he added no commentary. We'll keep you posted.

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It looks like the 49ers are going to look a lot different in 2011, at least on defense. With Takeo Spikes being the first starter to go, it now looks like starting cornerback Nate Clements is going to be released. Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area tweeted this:

Just received word from source that 49ers have informed Nate Clements they are releasing him.    

At face value, this makes Shawntae Spencer the team's number one corner, with guys like Tarell Brown and rookie Chris Culliver vying for the second spot. Of course, this is just how it looks right now, there is bound to be a lot of things going down between now and the start of the regular season.

Releasing Clements would clear up about $15 million in cap space, a nice chunk of change any day. If the 49ers truly are in on the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes, that's got to be an attractive number for the shutdown corner. Bringing Nate back at a lower cost doesn't appear to be the plan, as the team reportedly was going to try and restructure, but let's assume we'd have heard something other than "a source is saying that Clements is going to be told he's released," if there were plans to bring him back.

Is it Asomugha? is it Jonathan Joseph? Maybe it really is Shawntae Spencer? That might be disastrous. 

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