For one lineman on the San Francisco 49ers, the trouble is just beginning. For another, it’s finally been resolved.
According to reports, representatives of guard Alex Boone and the 49ers have come to terms on a restructured contract, effectively ending his holdout.
Boone has been absent from team activities since the start of offseason programs over dissatisfaction with his contract. He was scheduled be paid $3.2 million in base salary over the next two seasons.
According to ProFootballTalk.com, Boone’s new salary will pay him $6 million in the next two seasons. Additionally, all fines that the guard incurred during his holdout will be waved, and the 49ers will be unable to use the franchise tag on him once his contract expires.
Multiple teams had reportedly contacted the 49ers with trade offers for the disgruntled guard. However, the 49ers were unwilling to part with Boone, intentionally setting their asking price high.
Boone’s new contract seems to go against the 49ers’ policy of not negotiating with a player until he reports, though the 49ers now find themselves with a key member of their offensive line back on the field.
In Boone’s absence, guard Joe Looney has filled in admirably during training camp and the preseason. Looney had looked comfortable on the right side of the line, making standout plays during games against San Diego and Houston to end the preseason.
Looney also saw work at center after rookie Marcus Martin went down with a knee injury.
Boone has quickly ascended into one of the league’s top guards, making him a player that is hard to replace. Boone’s leverage only increased after the 49ers made their 53-man roster cuts on Saturday.
Following the cuts, the 49ers had just seven active offensive linemen on their roster, including untested rookie Dillon Farrell. Boone’s return not only brings veteran talent to an offensive line that is relied upon heavily for the 49ers brand of power run football, but also adds much needed depth to a thin stable of linemen.