Four months after signing linebacker Patrick Willis to a long-term contract extension, the Niners did the same today with Vernon Davis, another franchise cornerstone, who will become the highest-paid tight end in NFL history.
Davis was signed to a five-year extension through 2015. Multiple sources, including the Sacramento Bee, have reported that Davis will receive $23 million guaranteed and could earn as much as $37 million overall. The deal is slightly more lucrative than the five-year extension Chargers tight end Antonio Gates signed in July ($20.4 million guaranteed, $36.2 million overall). Gates is now the second-highest paid tight end in the league.
The sixth overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, the fleet-footed 6-foot-3,
250-pound Davis realized his vast potential last year when he had 78
catches for 965 yards and 13 touchdowns, tying the NFL record for a
tight end Gates set in 2004. Davis was selected to his first Pro Bowl
last year and tied Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald for the NFL lead in
The breakout year was hardly foreshadowed. In his
first three seasons, Davis averaged 34 catches for 377 yards and had
nine total touchdowns while gaining a reputation for inconsistent hands
and a lack of maturity.
But he is now one of the Niners’ six team
captains along with Willis, who signed a five-year, $50 million deal in
May that comes with $29 million in guaranteed money.
Niners coach Mike Singletary are scheduled to discuss the extension
during a conference call, which will begin at 4:45 p.m. today.