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Running back LaMichael James, whose future with the 49ers remains murky, is in Texas to train on his own at the start of the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program, according to a source.
The 49ers’ official offseason program began Monday. The first two weeks of activities are devoted to players working solely with strength and conditioning coach Mark Uyeyama and his staff. Coaches are allowed on the field at the beginning of Week 3 of the offseason program to begin football instruction.
James has been the subject of trade speculation this offseason, and a source said James would welcome a fresh start. In his first two NFL seasons with the 49ers, James suited up for just 14 regular-season games.
He was not a regular part of the 49ers’ game-day roster until Kyle Williams faltered on punt returns and was waived last season. James averaged 10.9 yards on 23 punt returns last season. In two seasons after the 49ers selected James in the second round of the 2012 draft, James has just 39 rushing attempts for 184 yards (4.7-yard average).
James has a $50,000 workout bonus as part of the four-year, $3.3 million contract he signed as a rookie.
Linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who is rehabbing from a severe knee injury sustained in the NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks, is in Santa Clara to work with trainers. The 49ers plan to place Bowman on the physically-unable-to-perform list at the start of training camp. He is not expected to be cleared for the start of the regular season.