May 12, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comSANTA CLARA -- The decision belongs to cornerback Nate Clements, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said Thursday.Clements is under contract to the 49ers through the 2014 season, but his return to the club in the upcoming season remains in question. Clements, a 10-year veteran, is scheduled to earn a non-guaranteed salary of 7.25 million in 2011 with another 7.95 million available in "likely-to-be-earned" incentives.CSN Bay Area reported in January that the 49ers want to retain Clements but only at what the club deems to be an acceptable salary. It is unclear whether the 49ers offered Clements a reduced contract before the lockout.When asked if Clements would be on the team in 2011, Baalke answered, "I don't know. You'd have to ask Nate. Honestly, I can't tell you right now."Clements was not immediately available for comment. He told CSN Bay Area late in the season, "I signed a contract and I plan to live up to it." But the 49ers have already paid Clements his 20 million guaranteed. Once the lockout is lifted, the 49ers have the right to release him without owing any more money.
The 49ers signed Clements to a free-agent contract on March 3, 2007 that had a reported value of eight years, 80 million. But the contract was backloaded with more than 50 million in non-guaranteed money scheduled to be earned in the final four years of the arrangement.The 49ers used two draft picks on cornerbacks, selecting Chris Culliver of South Carolina in the third round and Florida A&A corner Curtis Holcomb in the seventh two weeks ago.
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