In what was a bit of a shock to everyone, especially the San Francisco 49ers, tight end Vernon Davis reported to training camp Wednesday morning.
The Pro Bowl tight end essentially ended his holdout before it really began, as today was the first official day of training camp for the full squad. Davis skipped the teams voluntary workouts this summer and also missed the Niners mandatory mini-camp. Davis was expected to be a no-show, as the nine-year pro has been seeking a new deal.
As it stands, Davis is the fourth highest paid tight end in the league, with two years remaining on his five-year $37 million contract. When Davis signed his current deal, it made him the highest paid tight end in the league and was the biggest contract ever received for his position.
This past June, Davis said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution that if he didn't get a new deal, "it's not the end of the world if I don't get it." Yet, Davis also notified SI.com, shortly after skipping the mini-camp that, "it's all about getting paid what you deserve."
Multiple factors could of been in play which resulted in the 30-year old arriving to camp on time.
One could be the Joe Staley factor. Staley received a two year extension and raise on a deal that already had him staying with SF until the 2017 season. However, while Staley indicated that he deserved to be paid accordingly (based on the level of his play over the past three seasons; three straight Pro Bowls), the veteran tackle still managed to show up to all workouts and the mandatory mini-camp. The 49ers front office have been very stern over the years with not negotiating new deals with players who do not show up to training camp.
Secondly, with Davis coming into his ninth year in the league, being 30 years old and the Niners bringing in additional weapons to start the year (Stevie Johnson, Brandon Lloyd, Bruce Ellington, Carlos Hyde and a healthy Michael Crabtree out the gate), the veteran tight end has very little leverage. It's fair to suspect that Davis will not be forced to make plays in the red zone as much this year, thus, a drop in touchdowns could be in store.
And finally, the wallet. Oh the irony…as Davis seeks a pay raise, the former Maryland product has bypassed $200,000 by skipping the offseason program, subjected himself to up to $70,000 in fines for skipping the minicamp and could have been fined up to $30,000 per day, for every day of training camp missed, as well as potentially forfeiting any other bonuses.
While it must have been relieving to see Davis report to camp for the 49ers, the red and gold must still wait for the arrival of guard Alex Boone.
Boone, who is also two years from free agency, is reportedly and evidently more adamant than Davis about holding out for a new contract. It was reported earlier this month by CSN's Matt Miaocco that there was "no way" Boone reports to camp without a new contract.
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Tags: Alex Boone, Brandon Lloyd, Bruce Ellington, Carlos Hyde, Football, Joe Staley, Michael Crabtree, NFL, San Francisco, San Francisco 49ers, Stevie Johnson, Vernon Davis