General manager John Lynch said Monday he has no reason to believe veteran left tackle Joe Staley has already played his final game with the 49ers.
"We’ve kept in good contact with Joe," Lynch said on a video conference call Monday with reporters who cover the 49ers.
"He’s doing his typical routine down with his family in San Diego working out. We’re encouraged. We’ve heard nothing that would lead us to believe that Joe is not going to play. So we’re encouraged with that. We’ll see where that goes.
"That is something with each and every player, particularly as they get closer. You give them that time that they need. But we are encouraged that Joe will be a part of us, moving forward."
Staley’s status for the upcoming season was one of the first topics Lynch was asked to discuss on Monday.
There has not been any definitive word from Staley this offseason regarding his career plan. He has not talked publicly about his future since the 49ers’ disheartening loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.
After that loss, the second Staley has experienced in the Super Bowl, he expressed his dejection.
"You put your heart and soul and your entire life into being a Super Bowl champion and you get toward the end of your career and you realize how rare these opportunities are. The emotions are still raw and real for me right now," Staley said after the 49ers' 31-20 loss to the Chiefs in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Staley already ranks as one of the top 49ers in club history. He was recently named as an NFL All-Decade offensive tackle for the 2010s in a vote by the 48 selectors for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Staley, who turns 36 in August, signed a two-year extension through the 2021 season last June.
But the 49ers could look to find his eventual successor in this week’s draft. The 49ers have not had to worry about drafting a left tackle since 2008, when he moved to that side after playing right tackle as a rookie. Staley started all 181 regular-season games in which he has appeared in his 13 NFL seasons.
Staley appeared in just seven games last season due to two injuries. He sustained a fractured lower leg in Week 2 at Cincinnati. Then, he missed three games after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured and dislocated finger upon returning to the lineup from the leg injury.
Lynch addressed Staley’s status for the 2020 season in February at the NFL Scouting Combine. He said at the time that he was confident Staley would play at least one more season.
“I don’t think you know with certainty with any player, but all indications, Joe is really happy being a Niner,” Lynch said on February 25. “He’s healthy and that’s all good, and I think he performed at a really high level. We love having Joe around and hopefully we can keep doing this song and dance for years to come.”