49ers coach doesn't ease concerns about Christian McCaffrey's absence

San Francisco 49ers running backs coach Bobby Turner (L) and running back Christian McCaffrey (R)
San Francisco 49ers running backs coach Bobby Turner (L) and running back Christian McCaffrey (R) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Christian McCaffrey is absent from OTAs, and the 49ers' Bobby Turner didn't exactly clear the water with his description why.

There are plenty of veterans missing from the San Francisco 49ers' opening week of organized team activities.

That's not necessarily an alarm. OTAs are voluntary, and players won't be required to attend until mandatory minicamp next month. It's common for veterans to skip these padless practices, and for those who are seeking significant contract extensions, not attending is almost expected.

Just ask wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who is elsewhere as he seeks a new extension.

But another star player, All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey, is also not in attendance.

Unlike Aiyuk, whose absence is clearly related to his contract-extension talks, it's not clear why McCaffrey isn't at the facility. Even head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters he wasn't sure of the reason, stressing that OTAs were voluntary anyway.

Speaking with Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area, though, running backs coach Bobby Turner didn't exactly alleviate concerns about McCaffrey going AWOL.

"Physically he’s not here, but he’s here in every other aspect," Turner told Chan. "That’s the business part, and I’m not getting into that."

What exactly does that mean?

McCaffrey is under contract through 2025, and his current $16-plus million yearly average still ranks No. 1 among all running backs.

Perhaps, however, the 27-year-old reigning Offensive Player of the Year feels that value is underwhelming, considering even solid-level wide receivers can command north of $20 million annually.

No one, neither a receiver or another rusher, garnered more all-purpose yards than McCaffrey last season (2,023). So, that might be an argument in his favor that he does the work of both a rusher and a top-flight receiver and should be valued much more than the current $16 million-per-year value he has.

If that's the case, Turner didn't reveal much and opted to keep the reason close to the vest.

Read more from Niner Noise