LaMichael James not in attendance on first day of offseason workout program, per Matt Maiocco

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

49ers running back LaMichael James is reportedly in Texas for the start of the 49ers offseason workout program. There are plenty of possible explanations for this, so we look at what might be the most plausible.

In news that is not exactly surprising, but still of note, San Francisco 49ers running back LaMichael James is reportedly not in attendance on day one of the team's offseason workout program. Matt Maiocco was the first to report on this, but others have followed suit.

It is of course worth noting that the program is entirely voluntary, at least until the mandatory minicamp in June. At the same time, LMJ has a $50,000 workout bonus. What we don't know is the structure of that bonus, so it's hard to say if he is forfeiting that bonus at this point, or if that would come later. All reports indicate (and I've heard some similar rumblings) are that he is in Texas right now.

There are a lot of ways to read this situation. Although he likely has not been happy with his lack of playing time, he has generally been in attendance for everything needed. One possibility is that the 49ers are working on trading him, and in doing so, they are basically going to pay him the $50,000 workout bonus to stay in Texas. The offseason workout program is the first opportunity for players to work with coaches as they prepare for the 2014 season. As the program moves along, they will working on fundamentals, but they will also be working on playbook installation. If the 49ers are planning on trading James, I can't imagine they'd want him getting too much into the current playbook.

It is of course possible he is also just sitting home in protest until a trade happens. However, while people might read into his tweets, I don't think he's stupid enough to just give up $50,000, especially given that he is still on his rookie contract. Whatever you think of him as a football player, all indications I've seen on and off the record are that he's an intelligent individual. I could be proven wrong on this, but if he is in fact staying home from the workout program, I think there is a little bit more than meets the eye.

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