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Buccaneers need a guard after Carl Nicks retirement

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Meanwhile, Alex Boone is still holding out. Could the 49ers trade him if things don't work out sooner rather than later?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman Carl Nicks parted ways with the team, and stepped away from the game of football on Friday. Nicks was a fantastic player, but his consistently been missing time since dealing with an MRSA infection after an outbreak at Tampa Bay's facility last season.

It's unclear if he's still battling the infection, or if the long-term effects of it are simply taking their toll on him. Whatever the case, it's incredibly disappointing for a player that's as good as he is when he's healthy. It's also very bad news for the Buccaneers given the total lack of depth along the offensive line, particularly along the interior.

Which is where I'm drawing a connection for the San Francisco 49ers. Look, the 49ers may end up giving right guard Alex Boone a raise, which I think he deserves, or they may not. This holdout could end tomorrow, or it could end a month from now. All I know is the only thing that would surprise me is the former of those scenarios.

The 49ers will treat every player differently (no team in the league truly believes that no player is special), but at the end of the day, they simply don't like being pushed into giving contract extensions. The possibility of a deal not getting done for Boone does exist. A player of Boone's caliber being traded away isn't unheard of in the NFL. It doesn't happen often, but I think the Buccaneers' big need at the guard position is a good chance to talk about the possibility of a future without Boone.

Obviously, it's not ideal for the 49ers right now. But by all accounts, they like what Joe Looney brings to the table, and then there's going to be one of Daniel Kilgore or Marcus Martin left over from the center battle. There's also Jonathan Martin, so the 49ers are not without options. The Buccaneers, however, have none.

We're very far from something like a trade, and this is just rampant speculation. It's actually not even concrete enough to call it speculation. But all it takes is one conversation to go the wrong way before the 49ers look to teams like the Buccaneers to try and unload a guy like Boone.