TAMPA — Concerned about the status of his team’s guard play, Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht has made no secret of his willingness to look outside of the organization for a possible solution.
It should come as no surprise then that Licht has reportedly reached out to the San Francisco 49ers to inquire about the possible availability of holdout guard Alex Boone.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported Monday that, via a person informed of the Bucs’ thinking, Tampa Bay would have legitimate interest in working a trade for Boone, if they can get him for the right price.
Rapoport also noted via his Twitter account that no “real’’ conversations have taken place between the Bucs and 49ers and that the Bucs’ front office reaches out to all teams to discuss players who might be available.
Checking in with rival teams to see what players might be available is standard business around the NFL, so there’s nothing to suggest a trade for Boone will come anytime soon.
But if the Bucs are indeed kicking the tires on Boone, it’s further acknowledgement that their concern about the guard situation is genuine and that they fear the solutions may not all be in house.
The Bucs say they feel very good about guard prospects such as Kadeem Edwards, Patrick Omameh and Jace Daniels, and it’s likely they’ll give those players a good look before making any kind of a deal for Boone.
Should the results not be to their liking, though, the Bucs will have to look elsewhere, and turning to the 49ers to work a deal for the disgruntled Boone could provide an immediate upgrade.
Though he wasn’t drafted and has never been voted to a Pro Bowl or named All Pro, Boone has started 32 of the 49 games he’s played for the 49ers and been an integral part of their recent rise through the NFC standings.
And the Bucs have the cap space necessary to meet his contract demands. They had $7 million set aside for Carl Nicks, so they can certainly afford to meet Boone’s reported demands for an increase on his $2 million salary.