We have a fanshot up about this but it deserves more attention.
Matt Maiocco is reporting that the 49ers have begun to have talks with Vernon Davis about extending his contract. Davis is reportedly asking for a 5 year deal worth $40 million and $25 million guaranteed. Not a totally unreasonable number and a good place to start, but that deal would make him the highest paid TE in the league by a good margin (especially the guaranteed part)
To quote Maiocco:
There is little argument the 49ers had to arrive at a lucrative, long-term extension for linebacker Patrick Willis. After all, Willis embodies every quality coach Mike Singletary values.
But the same can be said of tight end Vernon Davis, whose original rookie contact is set to expire at the end of the season.
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.
To compare figures, Brent Celek just signed an 8 year, $34 million deal with $11 million guaranteed. Dallas Clark signed a deal in 2008 that was a six year deal worth $36 million and about $13 million guaranteed. If I was GM of the 49ers I'd be ok with doing the $40 million that VD is asking for but I'd break it down differently.
I would ask VD to make it a six year deal, and I'd drop the guaranteed money down to $20 million which would be split up into two payments. I'd make another $5 million available through incentives, so the final numbers would look something like this.
2011--$10.595 million (that's $10 million bonus, $595,000 minimum salary)
2012--$8.595 million ($8 million signing bonus, $595,000 minimum salary)
That's actually a total salary of $39.19 million. Add in the extra $5 million based on incentives and we'd actually be paying him more than he wanted. I think that deal would be very fair to both sides and wouldn't be exorbitantly expensive on the 49ers.
There's not any rush to get this deal done since we're not even close to training camp, but the FO has been moving surprisingly quick this off-season so it might get done quicker than we think.