Although the team recently declined the fifth-year option on Hayden's rookie contract, coach Jack Del Rio insists "it's never too late" for the former first-round pick to turn his career around.
"DJ Hayden had a really good spring. He really did," Del Rio raved this week, via the San Francisco Chronicle. "I'm excited about his development."
An injury-prone draft bust to date, Hayden has a chance to "redefine" himself this summer with his head coach's support.
"As a player, it's never too late," Del Rio offered. "You can redefine yourself, turn the corner and peel labels off that maybe people have for you and create your own. I feel like he's on his way to doing that this year."