San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis has joined the growing list of players and coaches who are hoping to get a raise. Where does general manager Trent Baalke begin?
Davis is skipping the 49ers’ organized team activities this week because he wants a new deal, according to CSNBayArea.com. Davis signed a five-year extension in 2010, which included a $10 million signing bonus and averages $7.35 million annually through the 2015 season. According to CSNBayArea.com, his average salary ranks third among tight ends behind New England’s Rob Gronkowski ($8 million) and Dallas’ Jason Witten ($7.4 million).
Davis is forfeiting his annual $200,000 workout bonus to take a stand. Davis was slated to earn $5.3 million (before forfeiting his workout bonus) this season and $4.95 million in 2015 in salary and bonuses.
It is unclear how much Davis wants to earn, but Saints tight end Jimmy Graham could become the highest paid tight end before this season. Graham received the franchise tag as a tight end and will earn $7.035 million this season, but prefers the receiver tag worth $12.312 million. If Graham gets his wish, or signs a long-term deal with New Orleans, he could earn more than Gronkowski.
Davis isn't the only 49er looking to get paid. Guard Alex Boone, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, receiver Michael Crabtree, guard Mike Iupati and coach Jim Harbaugh are all seeking new deals as their contracts are set to expire soon. Boone is also skipping OTAs, according to ESPN.com's Bill Williamson, while Kaepernick, Iupati and Crabtree are entering the final year of their contracts.
Kaepernick's situation will soon force the 49ers into some tough decisions. Kaepernick's salary cap hit this year is only $1.63 million, as he's on the final year of his rookie deal. Consider that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler signed a seven-year contract extension worth $126 million ($54 million guaranteed) earlier this offseason. It would seem Cutler's deal would be the starting point for Kaepernick's demands. Cutler's cap hit this year is $18.5 million, about $17 million more than Kaepernick. If Kaepernick's deal is similar to Cutler's, it might mean that a lot of the 49ers who are hoping to get a new contract might have to get it somewhere else.
The price of having a great roster means the bill will come due at some point, and the 49ers’ line to cash in is wrapping around the corner.
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