The San Francisco 49ers opened practice this week with the notable absence of tight end Vernon Davis. According to a report from CSNBayArea.com, Davis is skipping voluntary workouts as a result of the veteran's desire for a new contract with the team.
Davis has two years left on the six-year, $42.705 million deal he signed with the team in 2010, and he's due a little over $10 million under his current deal.
San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh was asked about Davis' absence, and while not going into any details about his tight end's push for a new deal, he did remind everyone that these are voluntary workouts.
When 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was asked Wednesday why Davis has not been attending workouts at the team’s Santa Clara practice facility, he answered, “As you know, the workouts are voluntary. That would be the reason.”
Even though the sessions are voluntary, Davis is forfeiting a bonus of $200,000 by not attending, a sort of protest to show how committed he is to getting a new contract wrapped up.
Davis caught 52 passes for 850 yards with 13 touchdowns while helping the 49ers reach the NFC Championship Game for the third season in a row last year. Despite his production, the eight-year veteran may find that getting the deal he's seeking this offseason could be tricky. With the contracts of Colin Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree set to expire coupled with the 49ers' recent decision to pick up the option on troubled defensive end Aldon Smith, the leverage that Davis is trying to create with his cap-strapped employer might not be as effective as he hopes.