The San Francisco 49ers welcomed back their veterans on Wednesday, and while Vernon Davis reported to camp, Alex Boone continues to hold out in hopes of a new contract. The 49ers made his holdout official on Wednesday. The Wednesday NFL transaction report came out late Wednesday, and the 49ers officially moved Boone to the Reserve/Did Not Report list.
There are several implications that come with placing Boone on this particular list. One of the most notable is that Boone is technically removed from the 90-man roster. I was not aware of this until Matt Maiocco pointed it out. But given that Boone is choosing to remain away from the team, it makes sense. It also means the 49ers technically only have 89 players on that roster, and thus, an open spot. If the 49ers elect to sign another player, it will basically just be a seat-warmer until Boone gets back, or we reach the cut down to 75 players.
In addition to opening up a roster spot, the transaction now opens the door for the 49ers to discipline Boone for his absence. Article 42 dictates that the team is allowed to fine Boone $30,000 for each day he remains away from camp. They can fine him each day through the final preseason roster reduction date. I believe that is approximately August 29, which would mean Boone could be fined as much as $1,140,000.
If Boone still has not reported at the start of the regular season, the 49ers can then start to recoup money that can impact the salary cap. For each week Boone sits out, the 49ers save a game check. Boone has a $2 million salary this season, which is broken up into 17 game checks. That divides out to $117,647 per week he sits out. That money is saved against the cap.
Additionally, the 49ers can also recover a portion of Boone's signing bonus. Former agent Joel Corry broke this down in detail. Boone is reported to have received a $1.7 million signing bonus when he signed his 5-year deal in 2011. The 2014 pro-ration would be $340,000.
A team can also recover a portion of a player's signing bonus. Fifteen percent of the prorated amount of signing bonus can be recouped on the sixth day of a training camp holdout. It's one percent for each additional missed day with a maximum of 25 percent of the prorated amount during training camp. An additional 25 percent can be recovered with the first missed regular season game. After four missed weeks, a team can recover 1/17 of the prorated amount for each additional week of the player's absence. The maximum a team can recover in a season is the entire prorated amount of the player's signing bonus in that contract year.
Fooch's Update: Boone also has a $200,000 roster bonus that likely is broken up into 16 regular season payments of $12,500. He will lose these as each week passes.
Alex Boone can elect to continue his holdout as long as he wants, but if he does not get a new deal and is not traded, there is a significant deadline for him. In order to accrue a season of service, a player must be on "full pay status" for at least six regular season games. If Boone sat through Week 11, and then returned for Weeks 12-17, he would accrue his year, and move into the final year of his contract in 2015. If Boone sat out through Week 11, and then continued sitting, it is my understanding that his contract would toll, and basically, instead of being signed through 2015, he would instead be signed through 2016.
If we saw the 49ers and Alex Boone reach that drop-dead date, I would think a trade or a new deal would come to fruition. But hopefully this gets resolved during training camp, and we don't have to deal with any of that nonsense.