The 49ers on Monday released veteran guard Zane Beadles, one of the most versatile offensive linemen on the team who started 21 games the last two seasons.
Beadles' release may be related to the emergence of Erik Magnuson, an undrafted free agent a year ago who like Beadles is capable of lining up at guard, tackle and center. While Beadles was poised to count $4 million against San Francisco's salary cap in 2018, Magnuson's cap figure is one of the smallest on the team, $556,000.
“Zane is a consummate professional and has represented our organization with exceptional class,” general manager John Lynch said in a statement. “He is an unselfish guy who stepped up in a big way for our team last year and we can’t thank him enough for all his contributions to the organization and our community.
"Zane is just the kind of player and person we would always be open to welcoming back down the road," Lynch continued, "but releasing him now provides ample opportunity to find the right situation with his next team. We wish him and his family all the best as he moves forward in his career.”
The 49ers signed Beadles as a free agent in 2016 to replace Alex Boone in their starting lineup. Beadles played all 16 games that season, including at left tackle and center.
The 49ers will have a competition for their two starting guard spots this season with Laken Tomlinson, Jonathan Cooper, Joshua Garnett and Magnuson the top contenders.