As their new agreement with defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey exhibits, the 49ers are continuing their pattern of extending players whose leverage may be lacking due to injuries, their spot on the depth chart, or various other factors. Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle points out (via Twitter) that the Niners locked up Alex Boone, Daniel Kilgore, and Ian Williams before those players became starters, and Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap notes (via Twitter) that strategy has allowed the club to create several team-friendly contracts and compile plenty of depth.
Of course, as Fitzgerald adds (via Twitter), the downside of signing players early to club-friendly deals is that when someone like Boone significantly outplays that contract, it can result in a stand-off like the one taking place between the team and the veteran guard right now. As we wait to see how the Boone situation is resolved, let’s check in on a few other Niners-related items….
- Based on conversations Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News has had with NFL sources – many of whom know Jim Harbaugh well – Kawakami says 80% of the people he has spoken to believe there’s a “strong chance” this will be Harbaugh’s last season with the 49ers. While that doesn’t necessarily mean the Niners will have a new head coach for the 2015 season, it means 2014 is a crucial year for Harbaugh and the team. Anything less than a Super Bowl win could end up resulting in “some very tense and possibly very unsatisfactory discussions” between the two sides during the offseason, says Kawakami.
- When Colin Kaepernick first signed his extension this summer, he said he hoped that by not pushing for every last dollar, he’d created some flexibility for the 49ers to sign or extend other players. Asked yesterday whether he wants to see the team use that added flexibility to sign Boone or anyone else in particular, Kaepernick declined to weigh in, suggesting it’s up to the front office to decide how to spend the club’s money. Eric Branch has the details and quotes.
- Veteran wideout Brandon Lloyd, who signed with the Niners this offseason, has a “real good chance” to make the regular-season roster, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), who adds that the former Pro Bowler has bonded with Anquan Boldin. Lloyd didn’t play last season, but is only two years removed from a 74-catch season in New England.