The San Francisco 49ers wrap up their spurt of offseason activities this week as they open their mandatory minicamp in Santa Clara. All but two players are expected to be in attendance for this week's camp. Dashon Goldson has yet to sign his franchise tender and continues to stay away from Santa Clara, while LaMichael James has to wait until Oregon wraps up their fourth quarter of academics.
The 49ers and Goldson are reportedly one million dollars apart with Goldson looking for an Eric Weddle-type $8M per year deal, while the 49ers reportedly offering $7M per year. Of course, we also don't know if there are differences in the number of years Goldson wants, and the number of years the 49ers are willing to offer.
Goldson is apparently getting his workouts in at an array of facilities as he looks to stay in shape while away from the facilities. While the 49ers retain Goldson's contract rights, they cannot fine him for missing minicamp, since he is not under contract. They have until mid-July to work out a long term deal, otherwise he either has to sign the franchise tender, or sit out some or all of the season.
As the 49ers get ready for this final minicamp before training camp in late July, they'll be making several coaches and Alex Smith will be available over the next few days. Today, Greg Roman and Alex will chat with the media before practice. Tomorrow, Vic Fangio will be available before practice. Thursday, Jim Harbaugh will chat with the media after practice. Additionally, a variety of players will be available in the locker room. I'll keep an eye out for transcripts of those players.
There is no live contact in these drills or one-on-one drills, but they are allowed to run team offense vs. team defense drills. Without any real hitting it is hard to get a lot of this so there is little to no resolution of any storylines. At this point, it is more like the players are working to position themselves for the start of training camp. Jobs are not won or lost in OTAs and minicamp, but players have a chance to position themselves one way or another in the minds of the coaches.
Every player needs to perform well in minicamp, but you could argue some players need it more than most. Guys like Patrick Willis and Vernon Davis always want to be improving, but their playing time is not necessarily at risk if they have a bit of a down minicamp. There are some other guys that definitely need strong performances. Guys like Anthony Dixon, Nate Byham, Curtis Holcomb and Eric Bakhtiari are all guys who need strong performances to continue building their stock in the eyes of the coaches.
That's not to say some of them won't make the roster, but every day is particularly significant for these guys. Dixon is likely on the wrong side of the roster bubble at this point given all the offseason additions. However, if he can show strong progress from last year, maybe he buys himself another year on the roster. Curtis Holcomb was considered a bit of a sleeper prospect last year before an injury put him on injured reserve. Nate Byham also went on injured reserve last year and now is in a tough battle with Konrad Reuland. Now is a key time for them.