The San Francisco 49ers and guard Alex Boone remain far apart on terms for a new contract, and Boone won't attend the start of the team's training camp on Wednesday unless a deal is made, multiple sources familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports.
It's unclear the amount of a salary raise Boone is seeking. What is clear is one serious holdup in the team and player getting a deal done is related to where the two sides believe Boone should be rated among starting guards in the league. Boone is scheduled to earn a base salary of $2 million and $1.2 million in the final two years of his current deal. Currently, out of 64 starting guards in the league, Boone's compensation ranks him as the 43rd highest paid based on a three-year average of the guards' first three seasons of their deals. Among the top 20 guards in the league, the highest paid based on that same three-year average is Carl Nicks at $10.66 million; at No. 20 is Chris Chester at $4.16 million.
Boone wants a deal that is reflective of the value he believes he has brought to the team over the last two years as a starter and a projection of the value he'll bring to the team moving forward.
The 49ers view Boone as worthy of top-20 money at his position, sources said, which would have him making somewhere north of an average of $4.1 million per year over the course of a multi-year deal.
Tackle Joe Staley's recent contract extension was, in part, intended to serve as a message to Boone, sources say, that early extensions can be struck but will be considered only for players who attend team activities. The team, in recent years, has proven unwilling to reward a player who is holding out with a deal, in part, because it would set bad precedent. Boone skipped the Niners' voluntary offseason workouts and mandatory three-day minicamp.
Boone's agents, Jonathan Feinsod and Neil Schwartz, have proven their willingness to hold clients out in order to obtain what they believe to be fair contracts for their players. Two of their players who have held out during contract disputes are New England's Darrelle Revis (whose holdout with the New York Jets lasted 35 days) and Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson (whose holdout with the Chargers lasted 10 games into the 2010 season).
Schwartz and Feinsod could not be reached for comment. The 49ers also could not be reached for comment.