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Vernon Davis shows up to training camp (Video)

Vernon DavisSan Francisco 49ers fans can exhale. Vernon Davis will not be holding out of training camp.

On Wednesday morning, Niners defensive back CJ Spillman posted a video on Instagram of the warm reception Davis received from his teammates in the locker room when he arrived.

Davis admitted over a month ago that he is looking for a new contract. He skipped voluntary offseason workouts and was expected to skip training camp if he didn’t get a new deal, but he has either had a change of heart or worked something out with the team’s front office.

As Pro Football Talk noted, offensive lineman Joe Staley also wanted a new contract but showed up to workouts. He was rewarded with a two-year extension that will keep him with the team through 2019. Perhaps Davis took note of the way Staley’s contract negotiations went, or maybe he was bothered by Jim Harbaugh’s comments about the “49er way.” In any event, Davis will not be fined $30,000 per day for missing camp and appears ready to work.

Vernon Davis, Alex Boone could skip training camp for contracts

Vernon DavisThe San Francisco 49ers have not begun negotiating a new contract with Vernon Davis, and as a result the All-Pro tight end has yet to show up for work. Davis admitted about a month ago that he has been holding out for money money. Offensive lineman Alex Boone is reportedly doing the same.

According to Pro Football Talk, Davis would not be reporting to mandatory training camp with the Niners if it began today. There is still over a week to go before veterans have to report, but it seems like a legitimate possibility that Davis could miss the start of camp.

The same is true of Boone, as Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports that there is “no way” the 27-year-old will show up without a new contract. Boone is an important part of San Francisco’s run blocking scheme, so they would have a tough time filling his role if he held out for an extended period of time.

Boone and Davis are officially in a stalemate with the Niners. They are refusing to show up until they get new contracts, while the team is refusing to negotiate until they show up. The Niners can fine players $30,000 per day for every day that they miss training camp. That’s almost $100,000 every three practices, so you would think that might take its toll on Davis and Boone after a while. We might be surprised.

H/T Rotoworld

Jim Harbaugh: Vernon Davis skipping minicamp is not the ’49er way’

Jim HarbaughThe San Francisco 49ers began their mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, and Vernon Davis was a no-show as expected. Davis admitted earlier this week that he is looking for more money. The same is true for offensive lineman Alex Boone, who also skipped Tuesday’s practice.

Jim Harbaugh is unhappy with both Davis and Boone for not showing up, and he was not shy about admitting it.

“I’m disappointed in that decision for them not to be here,” Harbaugh told reporters Thursday, per CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maiocco. “As a voluntary segment to the offseason and we appreciate those guys volunteering to make the team better. Now, it’s mandatory and wish they could’ve … (it’s) not the decision I envision being the 49er way.”

Coaches understand the business side of football. Harbaugh should know as well as anyone else that guys don’t care about the “49er way” when they feel they are not being fairly compensated. Davis may have signed the most lucrative contract ever given to a tight end in 2010, but he feels he has outperformed it.

The Niners can now fine Davis and Boone $70,000 for missing minicamp. They obviously don’t mind paying that if it means strengthening their negotiating stance. Davis is an enormous part of San Francisco’s offense, and Colin Kaepernick would love to have him back as soon as possible. Unless the 49ers cave, it doesn’t sound like Davis will be around the team’s facility anytime soon.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Vernon Davis: ‘It’s all about getting paid what you deserve’

20080921_zaf_c04_578.jpgRemember earlier this month when Vernon Davis said he was not seeking a new contract from the San Francisco 49ers but would gladly take one if it was offered to him? He missed OTAs because he was simply “building (his) brand” and not looking for a new deal, right? Apparently not.

In a column he wrote for Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback, Davis finally admitted he wants more money.

“It’s all about getting paid what you deserve,” Davis wrote. “It’s not that complicated. I want the 49ers to win the Super Bowl, and I want to be on the field this summer working towards that goal, but I have to worry about my future first. Most of my teammates and many players in the NFL understand that. A few don’t.”

Davis acknowledged that he signed what was the largest contract ever given to a tight end with his five-year, $37 million extension in 2010. However, he said he is holding out because he feels he is playing at a higher level now than he was when he inked the deal. He then went on to discuss the financial problems many NFL players have had.

“The truth is, for many players, the size of the contract doesn’t matter because they’re going to blow the money anyway,” Davis said. “Financial literacy is the biggest problem I see in NFL locker rooms. Too many players spend their money on cars they don’t drive and homes they barely live in.

“I’ve had veterans on their second contract ask me for money. More often, it’s retired players who need the help, once the checks have stopped coming.”

Which brings us to the biggest cliche used by NFL players across America — “football is a business.” Davis wants more financial security than the two years remaining on his current deal. If the Niners value him enough that they can’t envision him not being a part of the team next season, they’ll give him the money. If not, Davis will have a choice between getting fined or showing up and honoring the contract.

Vernon Davis on skipping OTAs: ‘I’m building my brand’

20080921_zaf_c04_578.jpgIt has been widely assumed that Vernon Davis is skipping voluntary organized team activities because he wants a new contract, but the San Francisco 49ers tight end insists it is much more complicated than that. On Wednesday, Davis told Fox Sports Radio’s Jay Mohr Sports that the reason he is working out on his own has to do with building his “brand,” whatever that means.

“You know what, every decision I make is in the best interest of my brand,” Davis said, via Eye on Football. “At the end of the day, we sometimes have to make a business decision. And my decision is to work out on my own and focus on building my brand.”

Davis works to promote Fantex, which is one of those new companies that allows people to invest in professional athletes. Fantex paid Davis $10 million in exchange for 10% of all of his future earnings from the NFL and endorsement deals.

“It’s all about building your brand,” he added. “And that’s what Fantex … it’s going to help me build my brand. That’s why it is such an easy decision for me to partner with these guys.”

I get wanting to make money and endorsing a product or company you believe in, but how do the Niners feel about Davis being more focused on his own personal “brand” than spending valuable time with his teammates? During an appearance on SportsCenter Thursday, Davis insisted he is all about the team and is not working out alone because he wants a new deal.

“If it’s mandatory, I think I should be there,” he said. “My foot could get stuck in the grass, and I may not be able to get out … but if it’s mandatory, I think I should be there.

“I bleed red and gold. I’m all about the 49ers. I love the 49ers. My dream is to retire as a San Francisco 49er. OTAs aren’t mandatory, so I don’t have to be there technically. I just decided not to go. I decided not to be there … Everyone was just assuming I wanted a new contract. I just take it one day at a time. If they offer me a new contract, I’ll gladly take it. I’ll accept it.”

We’re not buying it. There’s a reason the Niners expect to be without Davis for a while, and I doubt it has to do with Fantex. He’s right about OTAs not being mandatory, but there’s a reason he is one of only two players who hasn’t shown up.

Report: Niners expect to be without Vernon Davis for a while

Vernon DavisVernon Davis has not attended organized team activities while he seeks a new contract with the San Francisco 49ers, and it doesn’t sound like there has been much progress. According to CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maiocco, Davis’ fellow tight ends have been told not to expect to see the two-time Pro Bowler for “a while.”

Former defensive coordinator and head coach Eric Mangini is the new tight ends coach for the Niners. He has reportedly told his group of tight ends — five of them at the moment without Davis — that now is their chance to make an impression because Davis may not return to the team for some time.

Vance McDonald, a second-year tight end out of Rice, is currently San Francisco’s No. 2 tight end behind Davis. He said he is focusing on learning as much as he can but misses having Davis around.

“It’s different,” McDonald said. “He’s goofy and goofing off, but when it comes to football he’s always full-tilt. I miss the dude. I’ll be honest. I miss the dude.”

On Wednesday, the Niners announced that they had signed Colin Kaepernick to an extension. Kaepernick specifically asked to sign a contract that would give the team flexibility to re-sign some of his teammates, and key players Michael Crabtree and Mike Iupati are entering the final years of their deal. Davis is signed through 2015, so he may not be a priority at the moment. Still, we expect them to ultimately reach some sort of agreement.

Report: Vernon Davis skipping OTAs, seeking new contract

20080921_zaf_c04_578.jpgVernon Davis is one of only two San Francisco 49ers players who has not reported to voluntary team workouts. According to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, the two-time Pro Bowl tight end is trying to send a message.

Davis is reportedly looking for a new contract. He has two years remaining on the six-year, $42.7 million deal he signed back in 2010, but the former Maryland star apparently feels like he is outperforming his contract after an All-Pro season in 2013. When asked on Wednesday why Davis has not been attending workouts, Niners coach Jim Harbaugh was vague.

“As you know, the workouts are voluntary,” he said. “That would be the reason.”

Davis’ attendance is not mandatory, but typically players participate unless they have some sort of personal issue or are unhappy with their current situation. By not showing up to the practices, Davis is giving up his $200,000 annual workout bonus.

The other player who has not attended voluntary workouts is offensive guard Alex Boone, who is also reportedly seeking a new deal.

Davis’ current contract pays an average annual salary of $7.35 million, which places him third in the NFL among tight ends behind Rob Gronkowski and Jason Witten. The deal was front-loaded, so he is scheduled to make around $5 million this season and next.

As Maiocco noted, the Niners have just over $8 million in cap space with players like Colin Kaepernick, Michael Crabtree and Mike Iupati entering the final years of their contracts. The team can start fining Davis if he does not show up when mandatory minicamp begins on June 17.