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49ers T Davis plans return in 2016

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. – It is now clear why standout offensive right tackle Anthony Davis “retired” during the offseason.

Davis wants to win Comeback Player of the Year in 2016.

With four simple words sent to an anonymous fan on Twitter on Aug. 9, Davis seemed to indicate he will be back with the 49ers in 2016 after taking a year off.

When Davis “retired” from the NFL, he left the door open for a future return.

The big guy now seemingly has barged through that opening.

Responding to a question on Twitter inquiring about the possibility of him returning in 2016, Davis tweeted: “Yes, that’s the Plan.”

If there is a plan, neither Davis nor anyone in the 49ers’ organization was immediately confirming it.

San Francisco’s players and coaches had the day off from dealing with the media on Monday, and nobody in the front office was designated to comment on the report.

That said, if there were a plan in place, the 49ers certainly have done their part to help it proceed. By placing Davis on the reserve/retired list in June, they retained his rights should he change his mind.

And with five years remaining on his contract, Davis has plenty of reason to change his mind, presuming he has overcome the health concerns that prompted his initial stepping away from the game.

The Super Bowl-starting tackle missed four games last season after suffering a concussion in a game against the New York Giants on Nov. 16.

The 49ers have moved newcomer Erik Pears into Davis’ spot. But interestingly, they have been in no hurry to fill a void left at right guard with the move of Alex Boone to left guard.

Pears, who has NFL starting experience at guard, could easily shift one position to his left should Davis return next season.

–Few general managers do a better job of planning ahead than the 49ers’ Trent Baalke.

Want further evidence? Take outside linebacker Eli Harold.

Even though the 49ers appeared overloaded with quality outside linebackers (whereas they had holes pretty much everywhere else on the field), Baalke used his third-round draft pick in May on Virginia’s Harold.

Given Baalke’s history, the logic was clear. While the 49ers were stacked at the position in 2015, there was much uncertainty moving forward, starting with star linebacker Aldon Smith, who missed more than half the 2014 season while on suspension.

Sure, the club had talented Aaron Lynch in reserve, but Baalke had already used his look-ahead vision in projecting the 2014 fifth-round pick as a potential near-future replacement for veteran Ahmad Brooks on the other flank.

Few would have projected that the 49ers would be needing immediate help at the position, but such suddenly became the case when Smith was released after another arrest.

Fortunately, Harold is around to be a 2015 option.

It appears that Baalke has done it again.


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