Just days after he announced on a local radio station that he planned to attend a mandatory mini-camp, San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis now instead plans to holdout for a new contract.
In an article for Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning QB with Peter King, Vernon states his case:
“In 2010, I signed a five-year, $37 million contract extension with $23 million 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 is currently the third highest annually paid TE in the league, behind Dallas’ Jason Witten and New England’s Rob Gronkowski. Witten got about $4M less in guaranteed money than Vernon while Gronkowski got the highest overall deal worth up to $55 million.
There is no question that Vernon Davis is one of the Top 5 TEs in the league, along with the likes of Gronkowski, Witten, Denver’s Julius Thomas and New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham, who may become the highest paid TE in the league, but at a time when the 49ers have little money to spare, and lots of decisions to make, it seems this kind of move comes at the wrong time.
Davis’ 2010 contract extension pays him roughly $7.35 million annually while Gronkowski’s deal pays him $9 million. With an arbitrator set to decide Jimmy Graham’s argument that he be paid like a WR under the Franchise tag rather than a TE, Davis could be looking in the $8-11 Million range, which might be too much for the 49ers, who have about $5 million to play with under the cap.
That money could be used to extend the contracts of wide receiver Michael Crabtree and guard Mike Iupait, who are set to become free agents after the 2014 season.
Hopefully both sides can come to some agreement putting money issues aside to focus on a Super Bowl run in 2014, but until then, the contract saga of Vernon Davis drags on.
While Davis may be in search of more money, you won’t have to by heading over to RazorGator for all your 2014 49ers tickets