SANTA CLARA -- Quarterback Colin Kaepernick knowingly and willingly agreed to a cap-friendly contract structure that provided the 49ers with the flexibility to enter into deals with other significant players.
And while the 49ers did take care of Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley with a deal that adds $12 million over the next three seasons to his existing contract, there have been no reported progress with holdout guard Alex Boone or a couple of key players who enter the final year of their deals -- receiver Michael Crabtree and guard Mike Iupati.
(UPDATED: The NFL Network reported Tuesday evening that the 49ers have targeted Crabtree for a new deal and they're making progress on a deal that could be completed before the start of the regular season.)
“I think that’s something the front office, that’s their decision,” Kaepernick said Tuesday. “For me, I tried to do something where we gave them space to be to get players back. Who they sign and what they do with it is really up to them.”
Kaepernick signed a deal through 2020 that totals $115 million, according to NFL Players Association documents. The 49ers are currently $9.775 million under the cap.
The 49ers are seemingly no closer to a contract with Boone that will get him back on the field, source told CSNBayArea.com.
Team president Paraag Marathe and Boone’s agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, appear to have some fundamental differences with their expectations for a new contract. Boone did not participate in any of the 49ers’ offseason program, and his absence at training camp reached the four-week mark. Boone, who is signed for two more seasons, is subject to $30,000 in fines every day he remains away from the team.
When asked whether he supports how 49ers management has handled Boone’s contract situation, coach Jim Harbaugh declined to comment.
“As always,” he said, “we don’t talk about the contract publicly.”
With the 49ers set to open the regular season on Sept. 7 at the Dallas Cowboys, the team is preparing Joe Looney to play in Boone’s place on the offensive line.
“We believe in Joe Looney,” Harbaugh said. “We believe we can win with Joe Looney. And Joe Looney is working every day to improve his game. And that’s what the unit is doing, all 11 and key backups. It’s a race in that way.”