Holdouts, highlights and Harbaugh, oh my! Oh, and an Eric Wright retirement. This isn’t football, this is a soap opera.
If you’ve paid any attention to Niner news in the last week, you know Vernon Davis and Alex Boone were no shows at the mandatory minicamp this week, foregoing $70,000 in the process, but more importantly, sending a message to the front office that they aren’t showing up without new contracts. While I’m not surprised Boone wants a new deal, and his upward trend in play suggests he deserves one, the Davis holdout comes as a surprise to the Red and Gold Empire.
Davis said as recently as last week he would be at the minicamp. “It’s mandatory, so I should be there for sure,” the TE stated in a radio interview.
However, as a guest columnist for MMQB, Davis said he was holding out for a new deal.
“In 2010 I signed a five-year $37 million contract extension with $23 million guaranteed. It was the biggest contract for a tight end in league history. Four years later I’m playing at a higher level than I was then, which brings me to why I’m holding out…It’s all about getting paid what you deserve, it’s not that complicated…I have to worry about my future first.”
Actually, it is complicated. I’ve written before about my admiration for Davis, but I’m disappointed. Yes, players absolutely should be concerned with their life after football, but he still has two years left on his deal as the third highest paid tight end in the league. Vernon is undoubtedly a top tight end, but at 30, signing him long term is a tough proposition. I’m not a fan of the timing of this move, but I’m hopeful the team can work something out.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh seemed to throw a slight jab in the direction of Boone and Davis. Disappointed with the holdouts, Harbaugh said it’s, “not the decision he envisioned being the 49er way.”
While an honest statement, Harbaugh seemed to galvanize what could be a new saying amongst the Faithful. We put the team first. We work hard. That’s the 49er way. I like the sound of that.
A final Harbaugh note, he told the team during the final day of camp, “Beware with whom you associate.” Sage advice, Master Jim.
On the field, Colin Kaepernick has not only shown off some new gear, but has been making accuracy a focus. He connected with Anquan Boldin on a touchdown strike between Antoine Bethea and Eric Reid during the final day of camp, and was throwing nice balls to Brandon Lloyd, hungry to make the team as the number four receiver in his second chance with the Niners. Bruce Ellington and Tank Carradine also shined also young bright spots.
Despite the off-field drama, the season can’t come soon enough for San Francisco. Stay with 49ers360.com all offseason as we get you closer to the preseason and opening kickoff in Dallas.
You can follow me on Twitter @mrandyparker