Back in 2010, tight end Vernon Davis agreed to a 5-year contract extension worth $37 million of which, $23 million was guaranteed. At the time, Vernon became the highest paid tight end in the league.
Four years later and Vernon has decided to set his foot down, skipping mandatory mini-camp last week to holdout for a new contract. Davis is currently the third highest annually paid TE in football, and could fall to number four on the list after New Orleans Saints’ tight end Jimmy Graham gets his case ruled on by an arbitrator.
During camp, Coach Jim Harbaugh noted his displeasure with Vernon’s decision to hold out:
“(It’s) not the decision that I envisioned being the 49er way”
Now the Niners’ biggest rivalry in football, the Seattle Seahawks and public enemy No. 1, cornerback Richard Sherman, have chimed in. During a youth football camp, Sherman said that Vernon should “do what he believes” and that he should “stick to it”.
This is the same Richard Sherman that Vernon Davis said should “shut his mouth and be humble” after calling out Michael Crabtree following the NFC Title game.
Problem is, Vernon agreed to a contract extension with the 49ers, and now he’s holding out for more money at a time when San Francisco doesn’t have much money to spend, especially considering the upcoming expiring contracts of Crabtree and Mike Iupati.
Vernon’s holdout like it or not, has become a distraction, and unless either the 49ers or Vernon cave in, who knows how long the holdout can carry on.
If the 49ers want to win a Super Bowl, they need to be together on the field. This isn’t the 1993 Dallas Cowboys who started the regular season 0-2 thanks to the holdout of running back Emmitt Smith. That Cowboy team won a Super Bowl in 1992, this 49er team hasn’t won a Lombardi Trophy yet, and internal distractions like this, hurt the team.
Hopefully Vernon Davis will heed some of his own advice to “stay humble” and will honor his contract for the good of the team. The less distractions, the better.
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