The 49ers had something of an exodus of long-tenured players this offseason, with stalwarts like Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, and Anthony Davis announcing their retirements, while other veterans like Michael Crabtree and Mike Iupati found new homes in free agency. However, there are still several longtime Niners who don’t appear to going anywhere anytime soon.
As Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com details, GM Trent Baalke wants to keep a couple of those veteran 49ers beyond 2015, telling reporters that he hopes to lock up outside linebacker Aldon Smith and tight end Vernon Davis. Both players are entering contract years and will be eligible for free agency in 2016 if they don’t sign extensions.
“He’s poised to have a very good year,” Baalke said of Smith, who reworked his contract with the team earlier in the offeason. “We expect him to have a very good year. I think he expects himself to have a very good year. We’re going to work hard to make sure that he remains here.”
As for Davis, the tight end who has been in San Francisco since 2006 is coming off perhaps his worst season with the team, setting or matching career-worst marks by totaling just 245 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Still, Davis is just two years removed from a Pro Bowl season, and Baalke sounds confident that the 31-year-old still has multiple good years left in him. The GM also suggested that the team will explore extending Davis’ contract.
“We’re always going to try to keep our own,” Baalke said. “Sometimes it works. As you’ve seen, sometimes it doesn’t. But Vernon and I have had conversations and we’ll leave it at that. He understands where we are and we certainly understand where he is.”
In 2015, Smith will earn a base salary of just $1MM, but can make up to $9.754MM through bonuses and incentives, and figures to see a nice payday if he has a strong season. Davis, meanwhile, will earn a $4.35MM base salary this year, and won’t match that salary again if he doesn’t bounce back from his poor 2014 showing.