The San Francisco 49ers have given left guard Joe Staley a contract extension, and rightfully so. Staley has outplayed his extension he signed in 2009, and with this extension, most likely becomes a 49er for life. So what does this mean for fellow offensive lineman Alex Boone?
At first glance you might think that it’s a bad sign for Boone and getting his deal done because that’s money that could’ve went to Boone instead. However, one of the problems I saw with giving Boone an extension in the first place was that, at that point, Staley was only making slightly more than Boone. With Staley being easily the 49ers’ best lineman and in charge of protecting quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s blind side, it would have been bad for team chemistry to give Boone a new deal and him be getting more money than Staley.
With Staley’s extension, that has changed. Even though there is now less room to fit Boone in under the salary cap, there are always ways around that. Trent Baalke and Paraag Marathe are salary cap wizards and can easily find a way through bonuses and incentives to get Boone his money.
What this extension really means is that the 49ers have more leeway to give Boone an extension. If they end up giving him more money, they now won’t have to worry about causing discontent among the offensive linemen, who are widely considered the most close-knit position unit in football.
Not only is this extension a way of rewarding the 49ers’ best linemen and one of their core players on the team, I also see it as a sign that they plan on giving Boone an extension as well. In the Jim Harbaugh era, this team has been one of the few in the NFL that hasn’t switched starters on the offensive line multiple times in the season. They have been by far the most consistent offensive line in football for years, and the 49ers don’t want to mess that up now. They’re primed for a Super Bowl run and would really like to have everything settled once their season begins on Sept. 7.