Although quite a few 49ers players have been working out in Santa Clara throughout the offseason, today marked the official start of the voluntary offseason workout program. Although players can only work with strength and conditioning coaches this week, this is the start of team-organized workouts.
The workouts are technically voluntary, but most every player ends up at the workouts. 49ers free safety Dashon Goldson is one player who will not be in attendance. The 49ers placed the franchise tag on Goldson and he has yet to sign his tender. Previously players that were not signed would not be able to participate in voluntary workouts. This year, changes in the collective bargaining agreement allow for such players to take part if they enter into an Offseason Workout and Minicamp Participation Agreement.
It remains to be seen how close the two sides are in getting a long-term deal figured out. My guess is they are making some kind of progress. If the 49ers made it clear they did not really expect to get something done with Goldson, I'd have to think something would have leaked whether it be a trade demand or some word of a potential holdout while waiting for a trade.
In other news, Michael Crabtree is in town for the workouts. Many player contracts include workout bonuses for attending such activities, and Crabtree is one such player. His contract includes a clause requiring 90% attendance for voluntary workouts in order to trigger various salary escalators and bonuses. All that matters is he is town for the workouts. He is coming off a 2011 season in which he took a solid step forward. A full offseason with the team will only help keep him going in the right direction. Whatever you think his ceiling may or may not be, he has the skills to be an important part of this offense.
Larry Grant will also be in town for workouts. He remains a restricted free agent, but he will reportedly sign his RFA tender later today. Grant had a chance to find a potentially starting job around the league but appears to have come up empty-handed. He will once again provide excellent depth at inside linebacker and strong skills on the special teams coverage units.