9:10am: Ian Rapoport of NFL.com clarifies (via Twitter) that Davis won’t be in attendance at the Niners’ minicamp this week. The tight end will forfeit nearly $70K by failing to attend.
8:52am: With Peter King on vacation, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis stepped in to pen this week’s edition of Monday Morning Quarterback at TheMMQB.com. Having decided not to attend San Francisco’s voluntary OTAs as he seeks a new contract, Davis presumably had plenty of time to write the column, which begins with an explanation from the tight end on why he’s holding out.
“In 2010 I signed a five-year, $37MM contract extension with $23MM guaranteed. It was the biggest contract for a tight end in league history. Four years later, and I’m playing at a higher level than I was then, which brings me to why I’m holding out,” Davis writes. “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. Most of my teammates and many players in the NFL understand that. A few don’t. Behind closed doors, they’ll say they’re all about the team and would run through a brick wall for the organization. But when you look closer, they’re doing things to contradict themselves. I can’t listen to anyone but my family and my advisors, because those are the people who are going to be there when football inevitably dumps me.”
The fact that the item is presented as an explanation for why he’s holding out is interesting, since Davis indicated a few days ago that he plans on attending the Niners’ mandatory minicamp this week. Unless that stance has changed, it’s hard to consider this a full-blown holdout for Davis, so we’ll have to wait and see whether or not he’s actually in attendance in Santa Clara. For what it’s worth, Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports tweets that he doesn’t expect Davis to be present when the club’s minicamp gets underway tomorrow.
While Davis may feel as if he’s not being paid what he deserves, he’s still among the league’s highest-paid tight ends by annual average value and has two years remaining on his current deal, so his leverage in contract talks will be limited. I’d expect the 30-year-old to relent before the Niners do, particularly since the team also has to address a potential new contract for Alex Boone and extensions for Michael Crabtree and Mike Iupati, all of which are arguably more pressing than a new deal for Davis.