The San Francisco 49ers gave Colin Kaepernick a big, well-deserved extension, and there’s talk that they could give franchise left tackle Joe Staley. In the meantime, the 49ers have to deal with two contract disputes from other key players on the offensive side of the ball, as top-five guard Alex Boone and star tight end Vernon Davis could hold out of training camp. It seems like Boone’s intent to hold out is stronger, but Davis held out of the 49ers previous offseason workouts and could just as easily keep trying instead of pumping the brakes on his dissatisfaction with his contract.
A source told Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio that if training camp were to start today, Vernon Davis would hold out of the beginning of training camp, which will start in eight days. Florio adds that Davis could always change his opinion or flip-flop multiple times, but the significance of this information is that Davis is seriously considering continuing his holdout.
I highly doubt Trent Baalke will give into Davis’s demands, and the 30-year-old simply has no leverage. While he is one of the best tight ends in the league and is coming off of an excellent 2013 season (plenty of dominance downfield and in the red zone), he’s also already making $9.05 million over the next two seasons, which are the final two of his deal. Davis would make more than that on the open market, but he’s an old tight end who isn’t on the open market, is a part of one of the NFL’s best organization (they have plenty of mouths to feed), and lost importance over the offseason as the 49ers added other pass-catchers like Stevie Johnson and Bruce Ellington.
Davis is a good player and I’m sure the 49ers value him highly, but they have no room or incentive to give in to his demands, and he can’t use anything as leverage against them. In fact, the only players in the NFL who can successfully leverage themselves against the team are franchise quarterbacks, not veteran TEs.