SANTA CLARA — Cornerback Tarell Brown plans on joining his 49ers teammates for the first time this offseason when mandatory minicamp is held next week.
His past absences stem from a desire to train at home in Texas rather than any brewing contract issue.
"For me, I wanted to do a different type of training to get my body ready," Brown said Wednesday in a phone interview with this newspaper. "Last year, I feel my body broke down a bit at the end of the season." This year, Brown is scheduled to make $2.925 million before his contract expires. Ideally, he would "love" a new deal before training camp begins in late July, and he's leaving the decision "up to my agent" on whether he'll hold out for a new contract rather than report.
"That contract situation, I try to stay away from that," Brown said. "The biggest thing is the team. By making plays and going out and working hard, everything else will take care of itself." For safety Dashon Goldson — one of Brown's closest friends — that meant finding a lucrative contract elsewhere as a free agent and signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March. Brown's agent, Brian Overstreet, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The 49ers have seen Brown blossom into a full-time starter the past two seasons under defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and secondary coach Ed Donatell.
Although Brown is the only returning starter who hasn't shown up at the voluntary OTAs, he hasn't been idle. Brown works out four days a week in Dallas with his longtime trainer, former Olympic sprinter Jon Drummond.
"The biggest thing is leg conditioning, a lot of speed work and over-acceleration speed," said Brown, who participated in the 49ers' offseason program last year.
The six-year veteran has also taken up Bikram Yoga, while mixing in plenty of chiropractor visits, massages and stretching exercises to help tame pesky knee and shoulder injuries that didn't require offseason surgery.
Meanwhile, at the 49ers facility, newcomer Nnamdi Asomugha has been taking Brown's snaps on first-team drills, with Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox also seeing more time.
Brown has stayed in touch this offseason mostly with Donatell, who sent him film to study last month. "I keep all my notepads, and I've gone over them every night for the last two months," Brown added of his offseason study habits.