49ers, Vernon Davis Talking Contract

Matt Maiocco of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area reports that less than a week after locking up Pro Bowl inside linebacker Patrick Willis to a five-year, $50 million dollar contract extension, the San Francisco 49ers have engaged in contract talks with tight end Vernon Davis.

From Maiocco:

"Two league sources told Comcast SportsNet Bay Area the 49ers and Davis’ camp are working toward a contract extension. According to the two independent sources, Davis’ side is asking for a five-year, $40 million contract with $25 million in guaranteed money."

Maiocco considers the $8M per year average a "reasonable starting point" for negotiations. Other $8M per year tight ends in the National Football League include...no one.

The closest to that APY is Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark, who received just under $7M per season in February 2008 on a six-year contract that included $20M in guarantees. Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow received $20.2 million in guarantees last April, and Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek's recent six-year contract extension was worth $33 million dollars in new money, $11M of which was guaranteed.

Davis is coming off a breakout season, where the former first-round pick out of Maryland caught 78 passes for 965 yards and tied for the NFL lead with 13 touchdowns. Davis was named to his first Pro Bowl following the 2009 season.

In 56 career games, Davis has 181 receptions for 2,907 yards and 22 touchdowns. More impressively, Davis appears to have shed an immature streak that plagued him the first three seasons of his career, including being kicked off the field by 49ers head coach Mike Singletary in a game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Davis was elected a team captain in 2009.

Entering the final year of his contract, Davis is scheduled to earn $5.705 million dollars this season, a hefty increase over the $2.44 million dollars he earned in 2009. As a former Top 10 pick, his increased base salaries make navigating the "30% Rule" for contract extensions in an uncapped season easier. With both sides seemingly motivated to get a contract done, it would not be a surprise if an extension is reached prior to the start of the regular season.

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