49ers have spent free-agent money cautiously
The 49ers on Thursday finally landed a free-agent guard to replace Alex Boone in their starting lineup.
The team agreed to terms with former Jaguar Zane Beadles on a three-year contract. According to ESPN, the deal is worth $11.75 million.
Beadles, 29, was a second-round pick by the Broncos in 2010 and flourished in Denver. In 2014, he signed a five-year, $30 million contract with the Jaguars. However, he was not nearly as good in Jacksonville as he was with the Broncos and the Jaguars cut him earlier this month.
The 49ers likely want Beadles to replace last year’s left guard, Boone, who signed a four-year, $26.8 million deal with the Vikings. Beadles excelled in Denver in the type of zone blocking that new 49ers coach Chip Kelly will employ this year and which wasn’t used as as much in Jacksonville. He also is durable, having started 94 of 96 career games, all of them at left guard.
Pro Football Focus rated Beadles the 16th-best guard in NFL in 2012 with a plus-17.1 grade. Last season, however, the scouting service gave him a minus-14.6 grade, which ranked 66th out of 82 guards graded.
The team initially was interested in Seahawks free-agent guard J.R. Sweezy, but he signed with Tampa Bay. They also had been looking at Cardinals free-agent guard Ted Larsen but had not been able to agree to a contract. Larsen, who also has drawn interest from the Seahawks, remains a free agent.
Beadles joins a long list of guards on the 49ers roster, none of whom is distinguished. The others include Jordan Devey, Marcus Martin, Erik Pears, Ian Silberman, Brandon Thomas and Andrew Tiller. The 49ers gave up an NFC-worst 53 sacks last season and had the NFL’s 21st-ranked rushing offense.
Beadles and quarterback Thad Lewis are the only outside free-agents the 49ers have signed thus far. Because Beadles was cut by Jacksonville, he will not count against the 49ers in the formula that determines compensatory picks for the 2017 draft. After losing Boone in free agency, the 49ers currently are in line to receive an extra fourth-round selection.