Anthony Davis finally took the step to attempt a return to the NFL that the 49ers had hoped he would have completed in time to participate in the club’s offseason program.
Davis announced via Twitter on Monday that he has sent his official letter to the NFL and the 49ers to seek reinstatement off the league’s reserve/retired list.
The 49ers control his contract rights with the terms of the extension he signed in April 2013. He is scheduled to make $3.35 million, including a $1 million roster bonus. Davis was signed through 2019 before he retired last year. Now, the 49ers have him under contract through 2020. The NFL must review his application and approve his reinstatement for him to become an active player once again.
The 49ers were made aware of Davis’ plan last week, according to a club official. The team’s roster stands at the maximum of 90 players. The club would have to cut a player in order to create a roster spot for Davis.
Davis, who turns 27 in October, has been working out at Raritan Physical Therapy in New Jersey to be ready for the opening of training camp this weekend. The full 49ers squad is required to report on Saturday with the first practice scheduled for Sunday in Santa Clara.
The 49ers have reason to be cautious about Davis’ possible return. The team does not know if he is physically ready to resume his NFL career or if he is truly committed to a return.
Davis also may have alienated many in the organization during his absence with criticism of the 49ers’ offensive line, including Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley, as well as his remarks on social media about general manager Trent Baalke and the organization.
“I do not want to work with a front office or anyone else who seemingly doesn’t want to win as bad as I do,” Davis wrote on Twitter in late-April.
Davis announced in June 2015 he was stepping away from the NFL for a year or two to allow his mind and body a chance to heal. In 2014, Davis appeared in just seven games due to shoulder, hamstring and knee injuries, as well as a concussion.
If Davis remains with the 49ers, he would compete to regain his former job against such players as Eric Pears and recent draft picks Trent Brown, John Theus and Fahn Cooper.
Davis has started all 71 NFL games in which he appeared after the 49ers traded up to select him with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2010 draft. Davis has never earned Pro Bowl honors, but he was an alternate after the 2012 season.