Should the San Francisco 49ers Sign Vernon Davis To a Contract Extension?

Mihir Bhagat@mihirbhagatSenior Analyst IIIMay 11, 2010

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 31:  Vernon Davis #85 of the NFC's San Francisco 49ers runs with the ball during the 2010 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl game at Sun Life Stadium on January 31, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Florida. The AFC defeated the NFC 41-34. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

According to league sources, it has been reported that the San Francisco 49ers are negotiating contract talks with their TE Vernon Davis.

He is currently pleading for a five year, $40 million contract, with $25 million guaranteed.

Yesterday, Davis released this statement through his Twitter account: “We got plenty of time y'all I'll sign an extension soon I'm sure don't worry I'm in 100%."

It’s obvious that Davis wants to get this deal done. Of course, who wouldn’t? As we all know, though, it takes two to strike a deal, and if I were making the call, I definitely wouldn’t agree to those terms.

Davis was drafted with the No. 6 overall selection back in 2006. In his first three years, it’s fair to say that he failed to live up to expectations.

Luckily for him, last season was a breakout year as he was selected to the Pro Bowl after posting career numbers in receptions with 78, yards with 965, and touchdowns with 13.

However, who’s to guarantee that he will repeat those numbers again? Do you recall TE Kellen Winslow following up a phenomenal season in ’07 with a lousy one in '08 and eventually being traded? Last year may have been a fluke, and Davis may end up being another one-year wonder.

In addition, do you realize that most of Davis’ production came out of the spread offense? After investing the majority of last month’s draft on big, physical players, and old-fashioned coaches still at the helm, the team may be heading back to a smash-mouth offense.

That said, the team should wait a year and see if he can duplicate his success again before making such a monumental financial commitment.

Moreover, in my honest opinion, Davis’ asking price is much too high. In comparison, while Davis is asking for $8 million a year, Jason Witten, the best tight end in the league, is making under $5 million a year.

Furthermore, in terms of yards, Davis was the 5th best TE. So why does that prove why he should be the highest paid? Beats me.

Meanwhile, arguably the league’s premier receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, makes $10 million a year.

Does Davis really deserve to be in the same monetary caliber as Witten and Fitzgerald? I certainly don’t think so.

In addition, just last week the team signed their All-Pro MLB, Patrick Willis, to a five-year, $50 million extension.

Willis has proven himself since his rookie season three years ago, and has led the league in tackles during that span. Even the average fan can tell you that he’s a much more valuable asset than Davis is. Therefore, it is utterly ridiculous for them to be earning similar salaries.

Of course, don’t get me wrong. I believe that Davis is, indeed, a very special player.

He possesses the unique combination of size, athleticism, and skill which helps create tremendous mismatches. Furthermore, he has the remarkable ability to simply dominate the deep middle of the field, opening up the offense for his fellow teammates. He’s truly a defensive coordinator’s worst nightmare.

There’s no doubt that the two sides should prioritize solidifying their long-term plans. However, now is not the time, and this is not the price.

Instead, Davis should focus on preparing for the upcoming season and be ready to prove his worthiness of being made one of the league's highest paid skill players.

I’m confident that Vernon Davis will continue to be a consistent playmaker for the team, and I wish him the best of luck moving forward with what appears to be a very promising career.


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