There has been much debate surrounding San Francisco 49ers Pro Bowl TE Vernon Davis and his noticeable absence from OTAs. A player that signed a six-year deal worth $42.7 million back in 2010, making him the highest paid tight-end in the NFL at the time, Davis is now looking to cash in on another Pro Bowl season.
In 2013, Davis tied a career-high with 13 touchdowns while racking up 52 catches for 850 receiving yards. A true deep-threat, Davis was the lone player that could stretch the field time and time again as he became QB Colin Kaepernick’s biggest playmaker. However, with Davis having two years remaining on his existing contract, he is reportedly unhappy and wants a new deal in place for 2014.
As stated earlier, Davis has been absent from voluntary OTAs and as a result forfeited $200,000 due to his workout clause. When asked about Davis’ absence, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said, “As you know the workouts are voluntary, that would be the reason.” So the question remains, should Davis honor his current contract? I believe he should.
Just like any job in the workforce, when you sign a contact with your employer there is always going to be some risk/reward factor from both sides that play into the deal, and football is no different. In 2012, Davis had his lowest output since 2008. A season that saw him become more of a blocker than receiver, Davis nonetheless did not have the gaudy stats the Forever Faithful have been accustomed to which warranted that big money contract, as he finished with 41 catches for 548 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
Did the 49ers ask him to return a lump sum due to his less than stellar stats? Absolutely not. That’s the risk the 49ers took when they signed him to that lucrative deal. It was a mutual binding agreement between both parties. So why should it be any different from Davis now that he’s coming off a Pro Bowl season?
I have no qualms about Davis trying to get the best deal, as he needs to do what’s in his best interest, but he agreed to a contract and that contract should be honored. Whether he has another Pro Bowl season or not, Davis needs to respect his current contract as both sides agreed to the deal and were both well aware of the risk/reward factors involved when it was signed in 2010.