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Guard Alex Boone is expected to officially end his holdout today when he arrives in Santa Clara.

SANTA CLARA -- It's unknown how long it will take Alex Boone to seize the 49ers' starting right guard position after missing the team's entire preseason. But he'll arrive at team headquarters today in very good shape, said the man who trained with him in Cleveland.

“There wasn't a whole lot to do throughout the course of a day,” noted LeCharles Bentley, who runs a training facility for offensive linemen. “So he spent a lot of time with me.”

Bentley, a former NFL offensive lineman who has known Boone since the latter was in high school, said Boone worked out six days a week and that the sessions were anywhere from an hour to double sessions that took up nearly half the day.

Boone will have to pass a physical when he arrives. Then the 49ers coaches will determine how long it will take him to be ready to play in a game, something Boone has not done since Jan. 19. Neither has the man who played next to him the last two years, right tackle Anthony Davis.

Paul Kitagaki Jr./
Ray McDonald (No. 91, right), teaming with Justin Smith (94) to tackled Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck during a 2013 game, has been arrested for domestic violence.
San Jose Police Department/ Associated Press
San Francisco 49er defensive end Ray McDonald is seen in an undated photo provided by the San Jose Police Department. McDonald, 29, was arrested early Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, by San Jose Police on felony domestic violence charges. San Jose police Sgt. Heather Randol says McDonald was taken into custody after officers responded to a home in an upscale neighborhood.

Defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic abuse Sunday morning in San Jose, bringing more scrutiny to a 49ers team that spent the offseason tangled in legal matters.

Police arrived at 2:48 a.m. at McDonald’s home, where a birthday party was being held. He turns 30 Tuesday.

McDonald apparently was involved in an altercation with his fiancee, who a police source said is 10 weeks pregnant. When she showed police minor bruises on her neck and arms, McDonald was arrested without incident.

McDonald was booked at 5:30 a.m. in Santa Clara County jail for “inflicting injury on a spouse or cohabitant,” according to the Santa Clara County Department of Corrections. Bail was set at $25,000, and McDonald was released at 11:30 a.m.

The missing pieces to the 49ers’ offensive line are beginning to reappear.

Alex Boone is expected to end his months-long contract holdout Monday after he and the team compromised on the remaining years of the right guard’s deal.

According to a league source, the 49ers agreed to convert the incentives Boone could have earned into base salary. He now stands to make $6 million over the next two seasons.

The team also waived the fines that had piled up in Boone’s absence, which began with a mandatory minicamp in June, and it agreed not to give him the franchise tag when his contract ends after the 2015 season.

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Cornerback Darryl Morris, who was claimed by the Texans, played in 16 games as a rookie last season, mostly on special teams.

The 49ers already have lost several players via waivers they were hoping to put on their practice squad. Here is the running list:

CB Darryl Morris -- Texans (

OL Ryan Seymour -- Browns

RB Glenn Winston -- Browns

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Guard Alex Boone is expected to join the 49ers Monday following a holdout that spanned two and a half months.

Guard Alex Boone, who missed the 49ers’ entire offseason while seeking a new contract, will report to the team Monday with a restructured two-year deal, a league source confirmed. News of the agreement first was reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The 49ers perhaps signaled that a deal was near Saturday when only six healthy offensive linemen made their 53-man squad. One of those linemen, undrafted rookie Dillon Farrell, could be released to make room for Boone, who currently does not count against the 53-man roster. Farrell presumably would be a candidate for the practice squad.

Or the team could wait until Tuesday to officially bring back Boone. That’s the day they can move injured nose tackle Glenn Dorsey from the active roster to injured reserve with a designation to return.

According to Pro Football Talk, Boone's salary increases from $3.7 million over two years to $6 million over two years by converting incentives to base salary. He'll be a free agent in 2016. All the fines from his holdout will be waived and, under the agreement, the 49ers can’t use the franchise tag on him in 2016.

Gail Burton/ The Associated Press
Colin Kaepernick won’t be forced to focus on just one target when he drops back to pass for the 49ers this season. warms up before an NFL preseason football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Baltimore.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/ The Associated Press
New 49ers receiver Steve Johnson (13) has an “unorthodox” style that makes him hard to defend, Colin Kaepernick says.

Listening to Colin Kaepernick talk about his current group of wide receivers is a bit like sitting down with a kid as he shows off his favorite action figures.

Anquan Boldin is great because he’ll smash through anything to make a catch. Michael Crabtree’s hands are so quick and strong he can snatch passes even in heavy traffic.

Brandon Lloyd is a master of deception. “He’s got a little different wiggle to him as far as quick routes, which makes him very hard to defend,” the 49ers quarterback said.

And Stevie Johnson? Well, he’s the mystery man of the bunch, someone Kaepernick described as “unorthodox.”

GNV2T3FVT.3Senior Photographer
Paul Kitagaki Jr./
The 49ers begin the season with a healthy Michael Crabtree (15) at wide receiver. Crabtree was injured and missed the first 11 games last season.
G072T3ERV.3Senior Photographer
Paul Kitagaki Jr./
The 49ers will be without injured inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) to start the season. The good news is he could return after the team’s bye week.

Defensive maneuvers

The 49ers have finished no lower than fifth overall in total defense since defensive coordinator Vic Fangio arrived in 2011. If they even come close to No. 5 this season, it could be Fangio’s most masterful coaching performance yet.

San Francisco will enter the season without its two best defensive players, NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith, and with a largely rebuilt secondary. The defense will be tested early by quarterbacks such as Dallas’ Tony Romo and Denver’s Peyton Manning – both of whom are capable of scoring in droves – and by an Eagles offense that finished second to Denver last season in yards gained.

The good news is that reinforcements, such as Bowman, should arrive after the bye week in late October, and the 49ers could be at their defensive best when the games – two against Seattle, for example – count the most. The question is how well the fill-ins can hold their ground through the first eight contests.

Paul Kitagaki Jr./ The Bee
Brandon Lloyd is one of four receivers on the 49ers’ roster to have had more than 1,000 receiving yards in one season.

Rookie safety L.J. McCray was surrounded by veterans when Jim Harbaugh walked into the team meeting room Saturday afternoon, so he tried to act cool with what the 49ers’ coach told the group.

“Coach came in and said, ‘Whoever is in this room, congratulations, you’ve made the team,’ ” McCray said. “That’s how I had found out.”

If McCray, who played at Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C., had studied the room, he would have found a number of other young players trying just as hard to contain their glee. They included offensive lineman Dillon Farrell, who, like McCray, had very little fanfare in the run-up to the draft and signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent.

The 49ers chose Farrell over 10-year veteran Adam Snyder, who was due to earn $1 million this season. In all, the 49ers have 18 players on their 53-man roster who are in either their first or second seasons, including nine rookies.

Saturday, August 30 2014
The 49ers – week by week


Sept. 7, at Dallas, 1:25 p.m., FOX 40: A weakened defense and a balky preseason conspire to give coach Jim Harbaugh his first opening-week loss as an NFL head coach. Big D may struggle on D, but Tony Romo and Co. still can put up a lot of points. Loss (0-1)


Sept. 14, vs. Chicago, 5:30 p.m., Ch. 3: The 49ers get a lift from the first true game in their new stadium – with brand-new sod! – and bounce back against the Bears despite Chicago’s outstanding wide receiver duo. Remember, Alshon Jeffery was available when the 49ers drafted A.J. Jenkins. Win (1-1)

Bob Self/ Florida Times Union
Brandon Lloyd’s presence on the 53-man roster means the team has four proven veterans at wide receiver.

The 49ers reduced their roster to 53 players with several players who had been on the proverbial bubble, including quarterback Josh Johnson and receiver Brandon Lloyd, making the cut, at least for now. The day also was kind to a pair of upstarts -- undrafted rookies Dillon Farrell, an offensive lineman, and James McCray, a safety.

Farrell is one of just seven healthy offensive linemen currently on the roster. He made the squad in place of veteran Adam Snyder. The 49ers save $1 million against the salary cap with Snyder's release. McCray, meanwhile, outplayed veteran safety C.J. Spillman on special teams and also is a bargain in comparison. Spillman was due to make $1.2 million this season.

Two other veteran special teamers, Bubba Ventrone and Kassim Osgood, also were let go. Osgood was due to earn $955,000 while Ventrone's salary was $855,000. Osgood also was released at this point last year but brought back. That’s because the yearly salary for a veteran like him is guaranteed if he’s on a team’s Week 1 roster.

The 49ers appear poised to go with a young core of special teamers that includes McRay, who played at Catawba College, as well as fellow rookie Jimmie Ward and 2013 holdover Nick Moody. McCray and Ward are the frontunners to serve as gunners on the 49ers’ punt coverage units.

Saturday, August 30 2014
49ers cut-down day tracker
Glenn Winston, Asante Cleveland, Kyle Nelson
Mathew Sumner/AP
San Francisco 49ers running back Glenn Winston (31) is congratulated by Asante Cleveland, left, and Kyle Nelson after running for a 27-yard touchdown during the fourth quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the San Diego Chargers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/ Mathew Sumner)

The 49ers must reduce their roster to 53 players today. Here’s the list of those who have been cut and those bubble players who have appeared to have made the initial roster. The team can begin building its 10-man practice squad on Sunday.


T Carter Bykowski

TE Asante Cleveland

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Quarterback Josh Johnson, who finished with a flourish in the 49ers’ fourth preseason game, has made the team’s initial roster.

SANTA CLARA -- Josh Johnson, whose 110.8 passer rating in the preseason was far higher than that of any other 49ers quarterback, has made the team’s initial roster, multiple sources confirmed today. The 49ers had to reach the 53-man limit by 1 p.m.

Johnson presumably is behind No. 2 quarterback Blaine Gabbert on the depth chart. Gabbert finished with a 54 passer rating and also suffered a blow to his throwing shoulder in Thursday’s preseason finale. The 49ers have yet to announce their final cuts.

Jim Harbaugh hinted on Thursday that the 49ers might keep three quarterbacks, saying that’s what the team has done in the past. Last year, however, they kept two quarterbacks on the active roster, Colin Kaepernick and Colt McCoy, and one on the practice squad, McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

Johnson also outplayed his quarterback competition, Scott Tolzien, during the 2012 preseason. In the end, however, Tolzien won the job of No. 3 quarterback and Johnson was cut.

For 49ers blog posts before May 2014, go to the blog archives


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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Note: The 49ers blog switched blog platforms in May 2014. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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