Defensive lineman Justin Smith, who is contemplating retirement, has been a regular visitor at the 49ers’ Santa Clara facility since the end of the season.
Smith has been seen as recently as this week around the 49ers’ team offices. Known as a dedicated worker, Smith has likely been using the team’s weight room.
The team's offseason program begins on April 6, so Smith is not allowed to work with coaches until that point. Players, however, can use the team's workout facilities. A team's conditioning coaches are not allowed to direct workouts but may supervise use of the weight room.
Smith, a 14-year NFL veteran, apparently has yet to decide whether to return to the 49ers for another season. Smith has one season remaining at $4.25 million on the contract he negotiated for himself in June 2013.
General manager Trent Baalke said last month he would provide Smith with plenty of space to make a decision about his football future.
“Like any player at this stage of his career, he’s going . . . what I told him was we’re not even going to talk,” Baalke said. “When I left it with him, the next two or three weeks, ‘Justin, go home, take care of your family, see how you feel, and at some point in the next month, three weeks to a month, I’ll reach out and we’ll talk.’
“And I think he’s earned that right. His nickname obviously is ‘Cowboy,’ if he’s going to saddle up again, he’ll know. That decision will be his and his alone, and we’ll certainly work through that with him when the time is right.”
Smith ranked fourth on the 49ers with 92 tackles last season, according to the coaches’ film reviews. Smith was tied for third on the team with five sacks and ranked first with 56 quarterback pressures.