Alex Boone is a 27-year-old guard who has played for the San Francisco 49ers his entire career (since 2009). Boone has been the starter for the 49ers for the past 2 seasons and was going to start this year. He’s never been to a Pro Bowl, but he has performed at those type of levels. He had +30.1 rating on Pro Football Focus in 2012 and a -1.2 in 2013. Boone is a big body and has experience in a few different offensive schemes.
As it stands, Boone is in a 4 year, 6.54M dollar deal that he signed in 2011. The deal was signed when he was a "promising" backup. Now that he has exceeded expectations, his contract is underpaying him. In 2014, he’s expected to make a 2M-dollar base salary with 590K in bonuses and a 2.59M-dollar cap hit. In 2015 (final year of his contract), he will make a 1.2M-dollar base salary with 790K in bonuses and a 1.99M cap hit. Considering the talent he has and the way he’s performed, it’s obvious that that contract isn’t enough for him.
How much would it cost the Colts if they traded for him? The Colts have a full slate of picks (with the exception of the 7th round pick) this year and have flexibility in that regard. The 49ers seem very unhappy with him and the backup Brandon Mosley has played well so far this preseason. It wouldn’t be more than a 4th round pick. If the Colts offer a 4th round pick, that should be good enough to get Boone.
So let’s say the Colts do get Boone (for a 4th round pick for example), and he’s on the team. What do you do now? He’s still playing in that contract. Now the Colts need to talk with Boone and work on a new deal or an extension. What is he worth? Boone didn’t play as well in 2013 as he did in 2012, but some attribute that to the injuries to his line mates. Either way, Boone needs a raise. The highest paid guard in the league is Logan Mankins at an 8.5M average (per year). Donald Thomas got 3.5M from the Colts. To keep him happy, the Colts would need to pay him like a Top 15 guard, which means he would make about 4.3M a year. That means he would get a new deal in the neighborhood of 4 years for 17.2M.
Now if they traded for him and signed him to a new deal, where does he fit in? He would fit in at right guard. The 49ers utilize a West Coast system (with some read option) with a flex-blocking scheme. The Colts are almost the same as they are also a West Coast offense with a flex-blocking scheme. It’s almost a perfect fit. Nevertheless, with his mediocre season last year, no one really knows how he will perform.
Is it a good or bad idea? It isn’t either, but in my opinion, it’s something the Colts should avoid. It’s not as easy as just trading for hm. They would need to trade for him (giving up picks), sign a new contract and introduce him to the system. There is a lot that is involved, and as mentioned earlier, he’s not a guarantee to perform. If the Colts perform the trade, it isn’t something necessarily bad, but they will intake a lot of risks that they don’t need to take. Even with Thomas’ injury, the Colts still have Mewhort and Thornton with Reitz as the primary backup. So, right now, this is something the Colts should not get involved in.