Updates from Friday, Sept. 5
CSN's Matt Maiocco has the latest on Boone:
Anthony Davis is out. Alex Boone will be active.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) September 5, 2014
Updates from Monday, Sept. 1
The 49ers have confirmed Alex Boone is back with the team:
San Francisco 49ers starting guard Alex Boone is staying put after all, as he has agreed to a restructured contract that will end his holdout exactly a week before the start of the regular season.
ESPN's Adam Schefter broke the news Sunday:
49ers holdout G Alex Boone is expected to report to San Francisco in next 24 hours with a reworked 2-year contract, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2014
ProFootballTalk on Twitter added the contract numbers and noted that the 49ers are waiving any fines from his holdout:
Per league source, Alex Boone's salary increases from $3.7 million over two years to $6 million over two. He'll be free agent in 2016.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 31, 2014
Also, 49ers waived all fines and bonus forfeitures for Alex Boone resulting from his holdout.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 31, 2014
According to Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo, the 27-year-old guard can make as much as $8 million if he fulfills all of his contract incentives:
Also, Boone has incentives that could earn him up to $8 million, per source. So from $3.7m to a max of $8m.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 31, 2014
Andrew Brandt of ESPN compared Boone's situation to another teammate looking to land an extension in San Francisco:
Vernon Davis, with two years left, is stonewalled. Alex Boone, with two years left, is rewarded after holdout. Youth is served.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) August 31, 2014
Boone has emerged as a big-time contributor on the 49ers' burly offensive line, starting all 32 regular-season games over the past two years. He won the starting job at right guard entering 2012 after sparse playing time throughout 2010 and 2011—his first two NFL seasons.
Undrafted out of Ohio State in 2009, Boone has overplayed his value ever since taking the starting job. National Football Post's Joel Corry (via Yahoo Sports) wrote in 2012 that Boone was one of the NFL's 10 most underpaid players, and that was before another strong season in 2013.
Despite crafting an important role in the offense, Boone held out for all of the preseason. During that time, the 49ers opted to replace him with Joe Looney.
The offensive line has struggled without Boone around. Colin Kaepernick and the first-team offense didn't score a touchdown throughout San Francisco's four preseason games, and the line's pass protection has endured more than a few lapses without one of its leaders.
The situation went from bad to worse when rookie center Marcus Martin suffered a knee injury against the San Diego Chargers in Week 3 of the preseason. He's set to miss roughly eight weeks, according to The Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows.
During Boone's holdout, trade chatter began to crop up. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were reportedly interested in prying him from the 49ers in early August, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport (via Chris Wesseling).
Boone's absence also rubbed head coach Jim Harbaugh the wrong way. Earlier this summer, Harbaugh expressed his displeasure, saying (via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News), "(It's) not the decision that I envisioned being the 49er way."
But whether it was the Niners' preseason struggles, Boone's strong body of work in recent seasons or a combination of both, the sides have hashed out the issue just in time.
With injuries and suspensions leaving major holes in the team's defense, San Francisco needs its offense to carry the load in the early part of the season.
There are still questions surrounding the 49ers offense entering Week 1, but now the team can try to answer them with one of its most important pieces in the fold.