I guess the word “mandatory” is not in Vernon Davis’ vocabulary, as he has decided to miss out on the 49ers mandatory minicamp, which began this week. His reasoning: because he believes he deserves a new contract.
In 2010, Davis signed a five-year, $37 million contract extension and was also guaranteed $23 million, which, at the time, made him the highest paid tight end in the league. With his contract ending in 2015, Davis believes that it is time for a new extension, but does he really deserve a new contract?
Davis recently wrote a column for MMQB in which he states, “Four years later, and I’m playing at a higher level than I was then, which brings me to why I’m holding out. It’s all about getting paid what you deserve. It’s not that complicated. I want the 49ers to win the Super Bowl, and I want to be on the field this summer working towards that goal, but I have to worry about my future first.”
Last season and postseason, Davis caught 57 passes for 904 yards and 15 touchdowns according to NFL.com. He ranked third for receiving yards and second for touchdown passes caught. No. 1 in each category was Jimmy Graham of the Saints as he caught 90 passes for 1,267 and 16 touchdowns.
Davis is definitely performing above expectations and has become one of Colin Kaepernick’s favorite targets. He is easily comparable to Graham and Rob Gronkowski (when he is healthy).
In previous instances, I have brought up the topic of a possible franchise tag. When Graham was franchise tagged this offseason he is guaranteed $7.04 million, which is the bare minimum for tight ends. But that is about how much Davis is making this year and if he is offered a contract extension he could be making around the same. However, I believe that a franchise tag is not necessary for Davis if the 49ers can figure out a contract extension for him even if it is around the same deal in 2010.
But we all know the problem. The cap space is just above $5 million and teams usually go into the season with $5 million in cap space just in case of injuries or a player needs to be signed. This new Kaepernick deal could cause a downhill spiral with the 49ers if they don’t start clearing some cap space immediately. Not only does Davis need a new contract, but also Alex Boone is holding out.
It seems like Davis would want to play for the 49ers for a few more years. That is probably why he his holding out, but it might be time for Vance McDonald to get his gear ready.
– MAILBAG: Why is Davis holding out? (READ)