Nate Clements will attend the 49ers three-day mandatory minicamp that runs Thursday through Saturday but nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin will not, according to agent Todd France, who represents both players. Clements, who is presumably one of the team's starting cornerbacks, has been working out on his own in Arizona. He is one of four players - Franklin, cornerback Shawntae Spencer and linebacker Manny Lawson are the others - who have not attended any of the 49ers voluntary practices this spring.
Coach Mike Singletary said last month that he's been in contact with Clements and Spencer and that while he'd like all his players to attend the spring sessions, he gave them his blessing to train on their own. Spencer is training in Pittsburgh. "I told them, go ahead and do what you have to do," Singletary said. "But they know that when we bring it in and get ready to go, they've got to be ready to go."
Franklin's continued absence is not surprising because he is not under contract and thus not subject to fines should he miss the mandatory minicamp. The 49ers designated Franklin their franchise player, which translates to a one-year $7 million deal. Franklin, however, has not yet signed and is hoping for a long-term contract. Second-year player Ricky Jean-Francois has been getting the lion's share of the snaps at nose tackle in Franklin's absence. Isaac Sopoaga also has taken repetitions at the position.
My guess is that Spencer and Lawson also will attend, but I have not been able to confirm with their agents.
-- Matt Barrows