Vernon Davis is in the building.
The 49ers' tight end, a notable no show for last year's offseason sessions, including the team's mandatory June minicamp, has been on hand for the start of the current offseason program that began this week, signaling a renewed commitment for the 2015 season.
A year ago, Davis was coming off perhaps his best-ever season, one in which he caught a team-high 13 touchdown passes, had 850 receiving yards and averaged more than 16 yards per catch. As a result, Davis felt he deserved a new deal.
"It's all about getting paid what you deserve," he wrote in Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback last spring. "It's not that complicated."
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Davis is coming of a far more modest season this year and is entering the final year of his contract. He said at the end of the 2014 season -- in which he had a career-low 245 yards and a career-low two touchdowns -- that he would take part in the offseason program, and that seems to be the case.
Last year Davis forfeited a $200,000 workout bonus before reporting to training camp on time. The 49ers tight end has an art gallery, owns a Jamba Juice franchise in Santa Clara and recently opened a training center, D1, in Santa Clara, and there was a sentiment last season that he was stretched too thinly and was no longer focused on football.
General manager Trent Baalke, however, said at the scouting combine in February that he's never been concerned about Davis' commitment.
"He’s never come into camp out of shape," Baalke said. "He’s never come into camp less than motivated to have the best season he could. There’s a lot of circumstances that went into his decline last season and I think he’s looking, as are we, to the future, and coming back and having a heck of a year."
Davis remains one of the fastest tight ends in the league and continues to be a mismatch for opposing linebackers. He would seem to be a desirable weapon for a 49ers offense that wants to run more play action and expand its vertical game this season.
Two other 49ers' tight ends, Vance McDonald and Garrett Celek, suffered back injuries last season, and the team appears to expect more production from one-time wide receiver Derek Carrier. He signed a two-year contract extension last month worth as much as $3.3 million.
Carrier, who played wide receiver at Beloit College, caught only nine passes for 105 yards in 2014. But he made considerable strides as a blocker and impressed 49ers officials with his speed and athleticism in practice. Asante Cleveland (Christian Brothers High) and Xavier Grimble round out the roster at the position.
Attendance isn't mandatory at the 49ers facility until their second minicamp, which runs June 9-11, and veteran players often float in and out of the sessions.
One player with a one-year tender, but not a contract, linebacker Michael Wilhoite, has been present this week. It's not known whether Justin Smith is taking part. The 14-year defensive lineman has been staying in shape this offseason but has yet to tell the team whether he plans to return for a 15th season.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.