SANTA CLARA May the best leg win.
That's the 49ers' mantra after they signed 10-year veteran Billy Cundiff on Tuesday to compete with struggling David Akers to be the team's field-goal kicker in the playoffs.
Cundiff, 32, worked out for the 49ers in November and was back at the facility Tuesday for a tryout with Bay Area native Justin Medlock, 29.
Both hit the ball well, according to a source with knowledge of the tryout.
Medlock was 21 of 22 on his field-goal attempts from various distances with the lone miss hitting an upright. Two of Cundiff's attempts hit an upright but both went through. He was 22 of 22 and also distinguished himself on kickoffs.
The 49ers waived outside linebacker Eric Bakhtiari whom they already had waived twice this season to make room for Cundiff.
Coach Jim Harbaugh on Monday said one of the team's options was to have two kickers on the roster who would push each other as the 49ers prepare to face Green Bay, Washington or Seattle in a divisional playoff game Jan. 12.
The hope is that a competition can shake Akers, 38, out of the worst rut of his 14-year career.
Akers, who set NFL records for field-goal attempts and field goals made last year, has an 81 percent accuracy rate over his career. This season, however, he's connected on just 69 percent of his attempts and has been particularly bad 9 of 19 from 40 yards or more.
Cundiff, however, also has struggled recently, which is why he was still available Jan. 1. His most well-known kick is a miss a 32-yarder that went wide left for Baltimore at the end of the AFC Championship Game against New England last season. He is 12 of 14 in nine postseason games overall.
The Ravens are coached by Harbaugh's older brother, John, who was a special-teams coordinator before becoming Baltimore's head coach.
In August, Cundiff lost his spot on the Ravens' roster to rookie Justin Tucker and was picked up by Washington, where he also struggled. He has played for 10 teams.
Cundiff has a career 75.5 field-goal percentage but made only 7 of 12 (58.3 percent) of his chances for the Redskins this season.
Cundiff also is known for long kickoffs. Last season, he had 44 touchbacks, the sixth most in the league. Akers finished third in touchbacks in 2011 with 47. He has 40 this season.
Despite a big leg, Cundiff has not been very accurate from long range, having made only 5 of 21 attempts from 50 yards or more. From that distance, he was 1 for 6 last season and 0 for 2 this season.
Cundiff is right-footed, while Akers is left-footed. That means holder Andy Lee will have to switch back and forth as the two kickers compete this week and perhaps next. Lee did that in 2010 when left-footed Joe Nedney got hurt and the 49ers replaced him with right-footed Jeff Reed.
The 49ers were given Tuesday and today off. They will return to practice Thursday.
Coaching carousel No 49ers assistant coaches had interviewed for one of the seven head-coaching vacancies around the NFL as of Tuesday evening.
That could change, however, if the team's director of player personnel, Tom Gamble, is hired as a general manager. Jacksonville, the New York Jets and San Diego have requested to interview Gamble for general manager openings.