FanPost

How does Antonio Gates new deal affect VD

So now that San Diego has extended one of their big 3, how does that impact the 49ers and their ability to extend Vernon Davis.  Davis is one of the core 49ers, and honestly, the idea of him not signing to stay hasnt really even crossed my mind.  It always seemed like an issue of "when", not "if".

Well as of yesterday, the Chargers extended their star tight-end, Antonion Gates, with a 5 year, ~36M extension, with ~20M guaranteed.  His contract is now basically a 6 year, 39.8M deal with 20.4M guaranteed.

This is fairly significant for Vernon and his contract negotiations.  There are a lot of parallels to be drawn between Gates and Davis: star TEs, core offensive weapons, team leaders.  They are even tied for the record of 13 TDs by a TE in a single year.  Both are incredibly important to their teams.  

However, there are also 2 big differences that cant be overlooked:

1) Gates has been doing his thing for a long time now.  He is a 3 time all-pro, and you argue with only his current body of work that he is a hall-of-famer.  And he will now have 6 more seasons to boost his qualifications.  He basically redefined what that position can mean to an offense from a passing perspective.  Tony Gonzalez gets a lot of credit for this, and rightfully so, but Gates has earned his spot next to him in that conversation.  They are bonafied receivers, not just little blockers who can catch short crossing patterns on occasion.  

By contrast, Vernon Davis has only had 1 really good season.  His body of work basically is that 1 breakout season.  Yes, Mike Martz squandered his talent, and he is the best blocking TE in the league.  But blocking TEs dont get paid that well (compared to other multi-million dollar athletes, not the fanatical minions like you and I).  Prolific pass-catching is required to get that fat contract.

2) Davis is only 26.  Gates just turned 30.  This obviously bodes well for Davis.  Younger = larger window of production = more $$$.  Gates' best numbers were from his age 24 and 25  seasons, which look like this:

 

G Rec Yds  Y/G Avg/Rec Lng YAC 1stD TD

2004-05 San Diego 15 81 964 64.3 11.9 72 4.2 55 13

2005-06 San Diego 15 89 1101 73.4 12.4 38 4.8 62 10

 

By comparison, VD's numbers last year (age 25 season) look like this:

 

G Rec Yds Y/G Avg/Rec Lng YAC 1stD TD

2009 San Fran 16 78 965 60.3 12.4 73 3.7 40 13


With TDs a notoriously poor indicator of success, it's clear that Gates had a superior age 25 season.  You could make the same argument for his age 24 season as well, since it was accomplished over only 15 games.
Another word of caution: Gates has not reached those kind of numbers since.  He has not made it back to 80 receptions or double digit TDs since that season.  

 

So I will pose this to the NN community: How will Antonio Gates new contract extension affect Vernon Davis and his quest for a contract extension?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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