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.