49ers salary cap breakdown: Tight Ends

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers are in fairly solid shape at tight end. With a need for cap space, will San Francisco extend Vernon Davis to clear some room?

We're back for the fifth position in our 49ers salary cap breakdown, and the last of the offensive skill positions. The 49ers tight end position does not face significant salary cap questions, but there are some issues to potentially consider as we move forward in 2014.

The 49ers would appear to be fairly locked in at tight end. Vernon Davis is signed through 2015, and Vance McDonald is signed through 2016. McDonald improved his blocking in 2013, but he was not part of the passing attack in a manner many of us were expecting. The 49ers have seemingly settled in on Garrett Celek as their third tight end, but would it surprise anybody to see the 49ers draft a tight end on day three to throw into the competition?

2014

Player Cap Figure Base Salary Prorated SB Roster Bonus Workout Bonus Dead Money
Vernon Davis $7,367,916 $4,700,000 $2,067,916 $400,000 $200,000
Vance McDonald $817,995 $518,599 $249,396 $50,000
Garrett Celek $572,000 $570,000 $2,000
Derek Carrier $495,000 $495,000
MarQuies Gray $2,667 $2,667
TOTAL $9,255,578 $6,283,599 $2,319,312 $400,000 $250,000 $2,667

2013

Player Cap Figure Base Salary Prorated SB Roster Bonus Workout Bonus Dead Money
Vernon Davis $8,739,916 $6,072,000 $2,067,916 $400,000 $200,000
Vance McDonald $654,396 $405,000 $249,396
Garrett Celek $482,000 $480,000 $2,000
Derek Carrier $166,675 $405,000
MarQuies Gray $1,333 $1,333
TOTAL $10,044,320 $7,362,000 $2,319,312 $400,000 $200,000 $1,333

Vernon Davis is the top cap hit, but his cap value goes down these last two years of his deal. His cap hit peaked in 2013 at over $8.7 million. In 2014, his cap hit will be just over $7.3 million, and in 2015, his cap hit will be just over $7 million. His 2014 cap hit is seventh among all tight ends. It's interesting looking at the ranking of 2014 tight end cap hits ahead of Davis. Here they are, according to Over The Cap:

1. Heath Miller - $9,466,500
2. Tony Gonzalez - $8,750,000
3. Jason Witten - $8,412,000
4. Marcedes Lewis - $8,250,000
5. Greg Olsen - $7,800,000
6. Antonio Gates - $7,362,500

8. Jared Cook - $7,000,000
8. Zach Miller - $7,000,000

One way the 49ers can create some additional cap room this year is to give Vernon Davis an extension. It does not have to be a crazy long extension, but what about a three- or four-year extension with a nice little signing bonus? Vernon is 30, but given the shape in which he keeps himself, I think he is the kind of guy who will age well. There are no guarantees, but if I were to roll the dice on a player who will keep himself in the kind of shape to last a Tony Gonzalez-type length of time, Davis is the guy I would bet on.

The 49ers are in no rush to get a new deal done for Vernon, but it makes sense to get something done now when some space could be used. I think it happens before the season starts, but I've been plenty wrong before.

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