The Niners announced Monday that they released Beadles after he spent two seasons with the team. General manager John Lynch indicated that the 49ers let Beadles go now so he can maximize his opportunity to find another job. If not, the Niners could bring Beadles back later on if a need arises.
"Zane is a consummate professional and has represented our organization with exceptional class," Lynch said. "He is an unselfish guy who stepped up in a big way for our team last year, and we can't thank him enough for all his contributions to the organization and our community. Zane is just the kind of player and person we would always be open to welcoming back down the road, but releasing him now provides ample opportunity to find the right situation with his next team. We wish him and his family all the best as he moves forward in his career."
Beadles, 31, signed a three-year, $9.75 million contract with the Niners in 2016. He was scheduled to count $4,083,334 against the 2018 salary cap. His release saves the team his $3.5 million base salary and leaves $583,334 in dead money.
In his two seasons with the team, Beadles was asked to do just about everything an offensive lineman can do. He played tackle, center and guard during the 2016 season and then filled in at right tackle for four games late in the 2017 season after losing out to Tomlinson for a starting guard job.
Still, Beadles figured to have an uphill battle for a roster spot this offseason after the team added center Weston Richburg and guard Jonathan Cooper in free agency and tackle Mike McGlinchey in the first round of the draft.
Tomlinson, Cooper and Joshua Garnett figure to be the primary contestants for the two starting guard jobs, and Richburg is entrenched at center. Erik Magnuson's growth might have been the most direct challenge to Beadles' roster spot, as he also has the versatility to play all over the line, especially at guard and center.
A 2010 second-round pick of the Denver Broncos, Beadles started 96 consecutive games heading into the 2017 season and went to the Pro Bowl as a member of the Broncos in 2012.