LEVI’S STADIUM — After Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony in Santa Clara, 49ers fans got even more to cheer about as the team announced that veteran tackle Joe Staley had agreed to a two-year contract extension.
The extension will keep the three-time Pro-Bowler with San Francisco through the 2019 season, almost assuring that the 29-year old tackle will finish his career as a member of the 49ers.
49ers general manager Trent Baalke addressed the signing in a statement this afternoon:
“In today’s NFL, it is rare for a player to play his entire career with one team. With this extension, Joe will likely be a 49er for life.”
Staley, who signed the extension Thursday afternoon, told reporters his new contract was more in line with his level of play in recent years:
“It was not a situation of content, I signed my previous deal after my second year. I’m a different player now and the organization is a different organization. We both felt it was time to get something done.”
Staley had been slated to make $2.7 million during 2014 while rising as high as $6.25 million on the back end of his contract in 2017.
No details were given regarding his new contract, though it remains possible that the 49ers could restructure to back-load it again to give more cap flexibility in the upcoming years.
Staley said his new deal fulfills a desire he’s had since entering the NFL when he was drafted 28th overall in 2007:
“What I’m most excited about is the opportunity to play my whole entire career as a San Francisco 49er. That was one of my goals that I set out to do as a rookie coming into the NFL was to make an NFL roster, become a starter, win a Super Bowl and play my whole entire career with one team.”
With quarterback Colin Kaepernick signing his own six-year extension in June, the duo will likely be paired together throughout the remainder of Staley’s career:
“To be able to protect his blindside for the years to come is something that I definitely take great pride in and do my best to do.”
The move is a positive step forward for the 49ers in keeping their core group together. Baalke’s willingness to negotiate extensions with Staley over the likes of Vernon Davis and Alex Boone — who remain steadfast in their contract disputes — is yet another intriguing element of this year’s offseason drama.
Boone and Davis have failed to report for both the voluntary and mandatory portions of the 49ers minicamps in efforts to obtain more lucrative contracts. While Davis has wavered in his stance recently, Boone remains silently steadfast in his desire to withhold his services to the team.
The 49ers have a history of rewarding players who are dedicated to the team. After a brief holdout during training camp by running back Frank Gore in 2011, the parties were able to agree to an extension once Gore agreed to report to camp.
Staley shot down the notion that the 49ers stressed he should participate in an offseason program to advance his contract possibilities:
“No. I know what route you’re going down and to address that, every single situation is different and every single contract negotiation is different. And so what’s right for me is not right for someone else and what’s right for someone else is not the same way that I do things.”
Staley shy away from controversial remarks and continued on to lend a voice of support for his partner on the offensive line:
“They’re very, very talented players and I’m speaking of Alex Boone. He’s someone that I have the utmost respect for and really, really hope that we can play our whole entire career together because he’s someone I have a ton of respect for and want to see him here.”