In the offseason, the 49ers’ offensive line was considered the strength of the team and one of the best in the NFL.
That’s not the case at this point of training camp. No position group on the team has more questions right now than the guys up front.
The left side is solid with Joe Staley and Mike Iupati. There will be a new starting center. Alex Boone remains a holdout, and Anthony Davis continues to rehab from shoulder surgery.
This edition of 49ers Mailbag focuses on a couple questions surrounding the offensive line:
Gut feeling... Is Boone a 49er to open the season? (Dom Legaspi)
Both sides in this standoff are very stubborn, so it's almost impossible to predict the end game.
Alex Boone and his agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, appear determined to hold out until the 49ers present Boone with an acceptable offer. Boone’s camp is not holding out for some crazy salary, according to sources. But, obviously, they’re seeking a significant bump from his current salary that ranks 43rd in the NFL among guards.
Meanwhile, 49ers president and chief negotiator Paraag Marathe does not want to set a precedent of players holding out to get what they want. The 49ers’ stance has always been that they’ll only talk about a new contract once the player reports.
The 49ers have started getting calls from other teams about Boone’s availability in a trade, according to a source. But there is no indication that any kind of trade is imminent.
After all, the team that might need Boone the most is the team that currently owns his rights for another two seasons. Not only is Boone far-and-away the 49ers' best option at right guard, but he is also very clearly the team’s best backup tackle.
Do you see Martin pushing for the center position this year? (Trevor Luke Chambers)
The 49ers drafted Marcus Martin in the third round to compete with veteran Daniel Kilgore to replace veteran Jonathan Goodwin. It was expected to be one of the best competitions of training camp.
But through three weeks it has not been a competition at all. Martin missed time at the beginning of camp with an ankle sprain. He still does not look 100 percent.
Meanwhile, Kilgore has looked very sharp and seems to be pulling away. His play, as well as his command of the offense and blocking scheme -- after all, he has been with the team since 2011 -- give the 49ers no reason to look elsewhere.