One player with an unsettled future amid the current labor discord is 49ers CB Nate Clements. According to San Francisco GM Trent Baalke, whether or not Clements returns is apparently up to him.
When asked by Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area whether Clements would return next season, Baalke answered, “I don’t know. You’d have to ask Nate. Honestly, I can’t tell you right now.”
Clements is under contract through 2014, but at issue is his non-guaranteed salary of $7.25 million in 2011 with another $7.95 million available in what Maiocco describes as “likely-to-be-earned” incentives. Because of that price tag, Clements will likely be released unless he accepts a pay cut.
Considered thin at cornerback behind Clements and fellow starter Shawntae Spencer, the 49ers selected two defensive backs — Chris Culliver in the third round, and Colin Jones in the fifth — in the NFL draft.
Per Maiocco, the 49ers can release Clements at the beginning of the new league year without owing him any more money.