Despite how ridiculous this season was for the San Francisco 49ers, there aren't too many things that wound up happening that would have seemed ... impossible prior to season getting underway. If you had told me that Jim Harbaugh would wind up leaving for Michigan prior to the 2014 regular season, I would consider it a possibility. But there is one thing that I wouldn't have believed, under any circumstance.
The extent of tight end Vernon Davis' struggles.
Now, don't get me wrong -- Davis has always had issues with hands, he's had issues with effort laying out for footballs, he's given up on plays and he leaps into the air to catch passes with his junk pretty much all the time. The type of issues he had were not expected. But 245 yards and two touchdowns?
I'd have laughed right in your face. But that's the reality -- Davis was outright terrible this year. He was, by far, the worst starting tight end in the league and he might have played himself out of a job with the 49ers, if they can figure out the salary cap implications. Then again ... maybe a new coach might be interested in Davis?
As noted in a recent article from Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, "at least two" of the 49ers' head-coaching candidates "expressed bewilderment" at how little the 49ers were able to get out of Davis in 2014. The wording is such that they don't appear to be placing the blame on Davis totally -- and granted, it's hard to imagine a guy with Davis' athletic talent and history in the league being unattractive to a new coach.
Barrows also notes that Davis would be hard to trade, it's a down year for tight ends in the NFL Draft and, of course, both Vance McDonald and Garrett Celek dealt with significant injuries this past season. I'm starting to wonder if Davis sticking around for whoever comes in might be likely, but more than that ... might actually be a good idea. What do you guys think?