SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The San Francisco 49ers can feel like one of their offseason distractions is no longer an issue. Right guard Alex Boone is back, and he’s ready to play despite being away from the team since January’s loss to the Seahawks in the conference title game.
”Happy, happy to be back,” Boone said. “Happy to join my teammates. The feeling’s mutual. I think we can put all this behind us and move forward.”
Boone had been holding out from the team after he and his representatives were unhappy with a contract he signed as a reserve in 2011 before becoming a key cog one of the league’s best offensive lines the next season. With a new $6 million deal over the next two years in hand, Boone received a raise on par with his level of play after outperforming his prior deal that paid him $1.635 million annually.
"Like all things, this is a business. I think a lot of people forget that this is a business first. I have to look after my wife and kids. That’s the most important thing to me," Boone said.
The former undrafted free agent out of Ohio State passed his physical this week and began practicing. His status for Sunday’s season opener against the Cowboys, however, has yet to be determined. The last time he played full-contact football was in January's playoffs.
While his teammates were going through the offseason program and training camp, Boone was in Chandler, Ariz. working with his mentor and former New Orleans Saints lineman LaCharles Bentley at his private performance center designed specifically for offensive lineman. Boone said he worked out six days a week and there shouldn’t be any concern over his conditioning.
”Personally I think I’ll be very effective,” said Boone. “LeCharles and I did a lot of stuff while we were there. It’s obviously it’s not like hitting, but we covered a lot of things there. I think I can be very effective.”
Boone spent his time working out knowing with certainty he would be back with the team before the start of the regular season.
”I knew eventually we would come together and get something done,” Boone said. “I think at first it just kind of stalemated because you have two hard stances going against each other and eventually coming together was a good thing. Both sides knew we needed to come together…it was a win-win for everybody.”
A sticking point to the new contract, Boone said, was to avoid getting the franchise tag preventing him from becoming a free agent following the 2015 season.
”I love football, I love my teammates more than anything. But at the end of the day I have to look out for my team, my wife and my kids. I have to make sure they’re compensated, they’re taken care of. Sometimes it’s part of the business, you got to go against the grain.”
Joe Looney received the bulk of reps at right guard in Boone's place. The team has yet to make a corresponding move with the addition of Boone back to the 53-man roster.
OSGOOD RETURNS, DORSEY GETS IR DESIGNATION
The 49ers announced receiver and special teams ace Kassim Osgood is back with the team after being released over the weekend when the team trimmed the roster from 75 to 53.
Osgood returns to San Francisco after the team released special teams stalwarts Bubba Ventrone and C.J. Spillman over the weekend. Spillman landed on the Cowboy's 53-man roster and will be in uniform when the teams square off Sunday in Dallas. The 49ers now have seven receivers on the roster.
To make room, nose tackle Glenn Dorsey was put on injured reserve with the early return designation, allowing him to return to practice after the season's first six weeks. He cannot be elevated to the roster until eight weeks have passed.
Dorsey suffered a torn biceps tendon early in training camp. He was originally feared to be lost for the season, but following his surgery team doctors concluded he could heal in time to return to the team. Ian Williams is currently the team's only true nose tackle and is coming off four surgeries to repair a broken ankle suffered in Week 2 of 2013.
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