The 49ers on Thursday announced a two-year extension for tackle Joe Staley that will keep him in a red-and-gold uniform through the 2019 season.
Staley had signed a long-term extension in 2009 that didn’t hold up well compared with others at his position after he became one of the top tackles in the league. The light-footed left tackle was due to earn $3.4 million this year, ranking him 33rd among offensive tackles.
Staley, 29, a first-round pick in 2007, has made the Pro Bowl three times and has been an All-Pro three times. He protects quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s blindside. Kaepernick was recently rewarded with a massive contract extension, and Staley’s deal can be seen as the 49ers protecting their investment in their quarterback.
“With this extension, Joe will likely be a 49er for life,” general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “ ... His commitment and professionalism have been great assets to our team and our community. This extension reflects our philosophy of investing in our core players.”
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Staley’s relatively inexpensive previous contract had made it difficult for the 49ers to reach deals with their other offensive linemen. After all, Staley played the marquee position on the line, has been its best player and deserved to be paid the most. Right tackle Anthony Davis signed a five-year extension last year. Starting guards Mike Iupati and Alex Boone are looking for new contracts.
Boone, a two-year starter, was a no-show for the team’s mandatory minicamp last month and will likely be a holdout for training camp, which begins next week. Staley’s extension – and Baalke’s word choice when it comes to “professionalism” – could be seen as a dig at Boone and tight end Vernon Davis, who also has been holding out for more money.
Iupati is in the final year of his contract and likely will get a chance to test free agency in March.
Roster moves – The team placed six players on the non-football injury list: running back Marcus Lattimore, wide receiver Bruce Ellington, center Marcus Martin, fullback Trey Millard, cornerback Keith Reaser and guard Brandon Thomas. The NFI list is for players who suffered injuries away from the 49ers facility.
Millard, Reaser and Thomas injured knees in college and are expected to miss the season.
Lattimore is still rehabilitating from a knee injury while at South Carolina in 2012. Ellington and Martin both practiced during the 49ers’ spring sessions; their injuries are not believed to be serious.
Two draft picks, outside linebacker Aaron Lynch and defensive end Kaleb Ramsey, were placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list. That means they were injured this spring. Both are eligible to start the season on the PUP list, where they would not count against the team’s 53-man roster.