Don’t think Vernon Davis has conceded

This is my Wednesday column on Vernon Davis.

SANTA CLARA – This is about Vernon Davis and the nature of news.

Davis, who held out of OTAs and mini-camp because he wants a new contract, ended his holdout and showed up Wednesday for Day 1 of the 49ers’ training camp.

A positive start.

But not positive enough for the 49ers.

The 49ers chose not to make Vernon Davis available to talk to the media Wednesday. The 49ers did not make Jim Harbaugh available, either. The only people the 49ers allowed the media to interview were Patrick Willis, Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Stevie Johnson and Justin Smith.

After those five interviews, a few reporters asked the 49ers’ public relations director if he would get Vernon Davis for a group interview. The P.R. director tried hard to look confused.

“We’ve given you so much positivity,” the P.R. director explained. “We’ve given you All-Pro players to interview.” And then the P.R. director said Davis and Harbaugh will talk Thursday.

The 49ers tried to control the news. It’s like they said, “Write about what we want you to write.” But the news is the news. Vernon Davis is the biggest story in the NFL today, not Patrick Willis or Stevie Johnson.

Trying to control the news backfired. The 49ers turned a one-day story into a two-day story.

Let’s discuss the story the 49ers don’t want us to discuss – why Vernon Davis ended his holdout. Did he give up? Did he skip OTAs and mini-camp and forfeit roughly $270,000 for nothing?

That’s not how I read it.

According to Pro Football Talk, which cites a league source, Davis still wants a new contract. He has not given up, but he will not be a hostile holdout, either.

What Davis created was a peace accord with the 49ers. The 49ers prefer not to negotiate with hostile holdouts. Negotiating with them creates a troubling precedent for the franchise, a form of knuckling under. Not the message any franchise wants to give, especially a franchise as strong as the 49ers.

Davis may be the only player who has the talent and the leverage to hold out and win a game of chicken against the Niners but, as an act of good faith, he didn’t hold out.

While Davis is in training camp being a good teammate, Davis’ agent and the 49ers’ front office can talk amicably and work out a deal. This strategy has worked in the past.

Frank Gore wanted a new deal in 2011. He was 29 and had one year left on his contract. He did not attend “Camp Alex” – the informal mini-camp Alex Smith ran during the lockout. Gore did not report for the first day of training camp, either. He held out until Aug. 1, Day 5.

The 49ers reinforced Gore’s decision to show up for camp. On Aug. 2, Harbaugh publicly went to bat for Gore, saying, “Frank’s a 49er and we want Frank here. We want Frank happy.” Harbaugh also said he expected Gore to get a new contract “sooner rather than later.” On Aug. 23, general manager Trent Baalke said he wanted Gore to be a “49er for life.” On Aug. 30, the 49ers gave Gore a new three-year, $21 million contract, $13.5 million guaranteed.

If Gore deserves to be a 49er for life, so does Davis. He’s a Hall-of-Fame talent who may not make it to the Hall of Fame because the 49ers don’t throw him the ball enough. And he never complains. If he had played for a team that passed him the ball more, he might have been the greatest tight end ever.

I asked Gore Wednesday afternoon if he feels Davis deserves a new contract.

“That’s up to upstairs and Vernon,” Gore said. “That’s their business. But Vernon still probably is the best at his position and still is playing at a high level. Vernon is a different guy, man. He’s 30, but he still can run like he’s 23, 24.”

If the 49ers do not renegotiate Davis’ contract before the regular season starts, do not return Davis’ good faith, he can demand a trade, or failing that, he can walk away at any time.

And that would not be positive news. No way can the 49ers spin that one.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at

This article has 136 Comments

  1. Two-year extension…minimal bonus prorated over those two years…plus incentives.

  2. “Davis still wants a new contract.”

    That’s cool. I still want a press pass.

    1. I think that requires or should require some post secondary education in the fields of journalism, communication studies and or English

    2. @Jack

      Too Funny!

      But check out the “Almighty Grant’s” Takes….Just off the charts in Bizarreness,

      “Trying to control the news backfired.” Wow I guess Grant told the 49ers off didn’t he? With all the power he has as a Media Personality eh?


      “Negotiating with them creates a troubling precedent for the franchise, a form of knuckling under. Not the message any franchise wants to give, especially a franchise as strong as the 49ers.”

      Could that statement be more out of Left Field? Grant is a Legend in his own mind.

      But this one’s The Kicker…

      “According to Pro Football Talk, which cites a league source, Davis still wants a new contract. He has not given up, but he will not be a hostile holdout, either.”

      Pro Football Talk? Really you’re going to refer to a Hack like Florio who NEVER get’s right…ever.

      But here’s the thing that Davis should have done,

      And most would agree with this. Had Vernon did what Staley did & participated in all OTA’s he would certainly be much farther ahead with the 49ers in getting a new deal done. And he definitely would have 270 grand more in his pocket as well.

  3. You can never admit that your wrong grant! Now your trying to spin another story out it like you have been right the whole time. Of course the niners will explore extending Davis if it benefits the niners. He will not recieve more money but a two year extension is probable. If by chance Davis demands a trade that’s fine cause he is on the decline anyway. Niners are much more equipped to handle a move like that.

  4. “Don’t think Vernon Davis has Conceded.”

    You’re right, he was never involved in a negotiation so what is there to concede?

      1. That’s really funny! Galaxy Quest is one of those goofy movies I probably shouldn’t like so much but it’s really good.

  5. Grant says:

    If the 49ers do not renegotiate Davis’ contract before the regular season starts, do not return Davis’ good faith, he can demand a trade, or failing that, he can walk away at any time.

    Sure, he can demand a trade (and not get it) and also walk away owing 10% of future income to Fantex (he’s already had to pay $400,000 of that $4 million to them plus that $270,000 he lost. Not good for the “brand” I would think) even he were to walk away. You really think he would take the gamble of perhaps having to sign a one-year contract with another team for less than being the 4th highest paid TE?

  6. This was the ‘I was wrong that Davis had the power in negotiating but I don’t want to admit that so I’m now going to write an article that the 9ers need to show good faith or else’ article that Grant is writing. I’m sorry Grant, but the 9ers can give Vernon a new deal or they can wait a year. Why? Because they have the power. Maybe they want to monitor their cap space after FA next year. That is when they could lose Iupati and Crabtree. After that Vernon will get his deal.

    1. Vernon getting his deal next year could open up some extra cap space for 2015.

  7. “Vernon is not the type of person that’s going to walk out on his team like that. He’s a good guy. He’s done a lot for this organization and he’s made a lot of great plays for us. We’re happy he’s here.”

  8. I think this is great effort in trying to create a controversy that really no fan cares about. Vernon Davis will play, will earn lots of money and at some point this summer, or Fall or winter or offseason get a new deal. Nice try anyways.

  9. The 49ers need Vernon Davis if they plan on winning the Super Bowl. None of his backups can even begin to fully fill his shoes.

  10. Wait a second…. How is this not conceding? He need is holdout virtually before it started. How can Vernon walk away? Retire? He’s under contract for two more years and he has to play a meaningful part of the season for the year to count towards him becoming a free agent. Demanding a trade. That’s worked great for Andre Johnson in Houston.

    The rumor I read is that the team may have forgiven him the fines for missing OTA’s. If that’s true there has been a give and take. Of course if that’s true how does the all knowing, all seeing Grant Cohn not mention it.

    Davis conceded the holdout and your title is flatly false. Of course he still wants more money… But in terms of negotiating for it his position has only weakened. So much for the leverage Grant attempted to attempt.

    1. Attempt = invent.

      I don’t know why I even try to comment here… Boredom I guess.

  11. VD finally got the hint with the Staley deal. After the new VD extension, Boone will remain clueless and AWOL….

    1. I suspect that Boone has more of a clue than you think. I’d bet he understands he isn’t going to get the money [he thinks] he is worth from the 49ers and is trying to get the team to trade him. The 49ers aren’t going to pay him starting OT money.

      1. I’d trade him to Miami for their 2nd Round pic and the 49ers 7th Round pic back….

            1. Perhaps he should take his talents to South Beach, although being there last week, not the best place for a recovering Alcohlic.

        1. That would be fantastic.

          If some combination of Kilgore, Looney, Martin, Martin, and Snyder convince the 49ers that they have C, RG, and swing T covered, I would not be surprised to see Boone traded.

      2. Why not? He is a starting OT. That’s his natural position and he is versatile enough to play 4 out of 5 positions. He’s stayed healthy and is team first guy. Why not pay him?

          1. I think they can be creative with incentives, bonuses. The cap isnt all that restrictive.
            Boone has been a good soldier, he is worth starter money at the guard position and like someone said, he can play anywhere on the line if need be.

            1. Prime, I agree completely. There seems to be undeservedly high level of animosity directed towards Boone on this blog. His play and his value to the team are not commensurate with his paycheck, and he’s trying to get the inequity balanced out, albeit through an unpopular and apparently ineffective method (holding out). You can’t blame him for trying. I know people feel that his situation is unique in that he was an undrafted misfit with numerous red flags and the 49ers were generous enough to give him a chance to earn a spot anyway. But, the 49ers didn’t just offer him that chance out of benevolence and kindness of heart. They saw something in him way back in 2009 that they thought they could bring out and turn to their advantage. Now he’s a top 15 guard earning only the 43rd highest paycheck for NFL guards. It sucks that he’s holding out but maybe he’s tried all his other options without success and he thinks it’s his only remaining option left to get a raise. We don’t know what’s transpired there so we shouldn’t be so harsh in our judgement of him. I would really like to keep him on the line protecting kap.

              1. I have no animosity toward Boone personally, and I understand why he would think he’s underpaid, but he’s going about it the wrong way. The team has been clear they will not negotiate with holdouts. If he truly wants to negotiate then he should show up to camp.

                The bigger issue is where does he fit with this team going forward? Contrary to popular belief on this thread, Boone did not play well last year and in fact was graded #40 by PFF on the Guard list. He struggled regularly and I think part of it is simply that he is not a true OG. His body type is OT and that really is where he would play his best football. I think he knows that too which is why I think this holdout could be an attempt to force a trade more than a new contract from the Niners as CB referenced earlier.

                There is only so much money to go around. They can’t pay Boone like an upper tier OG both because they don’t have the room, and because he really isn’t a top OG. If they were going to pay somebody I’d guess it would be Iupati, but they likely will move on from him as well. The cap system doesn’t allow teams to sign everybody unfortunately and I think ultimately the best solution for the team and Boone will be to trade him.

              2. Boone’s situation is about money and his age. It is not worth the risk of injury for Boone at age 27 to play for the 2.2M on his contract this season. In order to reduce the risk of injury, he holds out until game 11 and then takes the 825k to play the last 6 games (Boone only loses 1.375M). At that point he looks to be traded, or possibly sign an extension. Even if he has to do the same routine in 2015, Boone is looking at being a free agent tackle going into his age 29 season in 2016. At that point he is still young enough (especially as an OL) to get a big deal, he has only lost 2.25M over two years, and has reduced his risk of injury as much as possible.

              3. Sacto,

                He gets fined 30G’s a day for missing TC on top of all the game checks. He will make a pittance this year if he employs that kind of strategy. He also doesn’t help his stock at all. He likely won’t see the field for two years if he played it out this way. How would that make him a hot commodity at the age of 29? While most of us agree his best position would be OT, he hasn’t played there regularly since College. Any team signing him would have to gamble he could hold up at a position he hadn’t played in 7 years, and also face the prospect that he hadn’t been on the field at all in 2.

                The only sound option for Boone is to show up and play. He’s got 2 years and needs to show the Niners or his next employer that his next contract should be a large one. Holding out gets him nowhere unless the Niners decide to trade him.

              4. In that case he gets traded in 2015 offseason before the draft. I was just illustrating his worst case, which is not worse than a career-threatening injury suffered in OTAs or camp. Go back and check the Vincent Jackson holdout with the chargers. This will go down the same way.

              5. I believe Jackons was in the final year of his deal and he also had a bigger body of work, played a more glamorous position and made more money than Boone.

                What Boone is essentially doing is asking to be paid on how he played two years ago and the team predictably will not base negotiations on that premise. I’m sure the team views Boone in a positive light due to his flexibility, but at the same time they will not pay him like an OT and won’t go to the top of the OG premium either.

                The key is what is Boone asking for and also what the Niners see him as long term? He’s not going to play OT here; that has been assured with the long term deals for the current starters, so the best he can get is a mid range OG salary. Is that going to be enough for him?

                The Niners hold all the cards just like they do with Davis. They can let him sit, trade him or get an extension done that benefits the team going forward. Meanwhile they have good depth to slide in without losing much if anything from Boone’s performance of last year. It might even be an upgrade.

                Boone is either bent on getting traded or he isn’t paying attention to what the team is saying, because he’s not getting a new contract by taking the tact he and his agents have chosen.

              6. Yes, I see Boone’s gripe as being entirely reasonable whereas VD’s threatened holdout, after being partially paid for the upcoming season, seemed unreasonable.

  12. Come on now Grant. You can do better than that can’t you? The only person I see trying to turn this into a two day story is you.

  13. -> “showed up Wednesday for Day 1 of the 49ers’ training camp. A positive start. But not positive enough for the 49ers.”
    ->”as an act of good faith, he didn’t hold out.”
    HUH? A guy under contract shows up to work and he wants a gold star on his forehead and a raise just for showing up?
    AND he supposedly has leverage?

  14. “No way the 49ers can spin that one.”
    Sez Grant The Artful Dodger & Spinmeister, LOL!
    No irony there!
    Spins being wrong into ‘I’m not wrong. I’m just not right yet.’ maybe he’s irritated the Niners didn’t let him ask some nifty prepared question about Vernon.

  15. You wrote this entire story based on the absence of information. That’s not reporting. That’s conjecture. That’s making things up out of thin air. VD wants a new contract. He manned up and showed up. It’s a non story.

  16. This is the article Grant is trying to explain that he was not wrong that Vernon had all the leverage. Of course he was wrong and Vernon caved. Grant we can see through you!

  17. OK. This is a voluntary participatory exercise. I am aware that some of us are wayyyy too cool to participate, but for any of the rest of you, offer additions and alternatives as you wish:
    The Forty-Niners Zoo. Grant defined the first one, I’ll take full responsibility for the rest:
    Tuna= Tuna. (Duh)
    Crabtree=Land Crab. (Duh)
    Cowboy=Grizzly Bear
    Boone=Water Buffalo
    Reid= Eagle
    Brooks=Black Bear
    Colin = Ostrich
    Gore = Dall (Bighorn) Ram
    Hunter= wild Mustang
    Vernon = Bison
    Lloyd= Jackrabbitt
    Iupati = Ox
    A.Davis=Bhrama Bull
    Okay. Have at it.

    1. I’m a thourough-bred, that’s what she said in the back of my truck bed.

  18. This is about Vernon Davis and the nature of news.
    Don’t you mean Captain Torpedo?

  19. I love Vernon Davis, and am fully aware of his value to this team, but calling him a Hall of Famer is a bit of a stretch, considering his inability to run precise routes (a straight line speed guy). Hands are also questionable (although they have gotten better over the years)

  20. As I stated in my post on your other similar story- The Niners might give him an extension that creates the appearance of future earnings with out the reality of actual money being committed purely for the benefit of Davis’s “Brand”. Just an inflated BS contract with unattainable de-escalators. Davis actually doesn’t need more money, he just needs the illusion of more potential income to stimulate sales in his stock.

  21. This story could be more aptly titled ” Don’t think Grant has conceded that Vern Davis has conceded.” lol.

  22. Grant,
    “The 49ers tried to control the news. It’s like they said, “Write about what we want you to write.” But the news is the news. Vernon Davis is the biggest story in the NFL today, not Patrick Willis or Stevie Johnson.”

    Nice try at a little sensationalism Grant. You make it sound as if the 49ers Org are guilty of some form of cover-up by not allowing either Harbaugh or VD to speak to the media.

    What did/does the media expect to hear from Harbaugh or VD?
    Do you really believe that either party would have made some sobering revelation regarding the contract issue?

    Again, another story that falls under the category of “much ado about nothing.”

    1. Good point AES. It’s like the 49ers are the evil empire and Grant is trying to prove their crimes. I don’t get it.

    2. It’s funny that a guy showing up to work when he’s supposed to show up for work is the biggest news story.

  23. I wouldn’t give Davis an extension or another dime. I’d give him back the money he lost for not reporting earlier to OTA’s. He’s only as good as he thinks he is.
    This is the same Vernon Davis that said his best catch of his career was the TD against the Panthers in the playoffs. It was a 5 yard pass and he managed to stay inbounds by tapping his feet.
    Show me that you can beat Cam Chancellor for a couple of scores this year and then we can think about a new contract. Until then, do your job.

  24. Vernon Davis is the biggest story in the NFL today, not Patrick Willis or Stevie Johnson.”

    Yeah to blood hounds who have to dig up the gossip and bad news. Like all reporters in news taught to go for the negative. Nothing new, and you’re staying true to form Grant. YOU say it’s the biggest news. Try asking 49er fans what the big news is. Because this one doesn’t think Vernon Davis contract threats are

  25. Scrolling up after my post I thought I’d be in the minority as to my opinion on Grants obvious hatred of the main team that pays his bills. After reading some comments i guess I was right in my outlook.

    1. I often thought that Grant and Lowell disliked the Niners. It is like they only like the Seahawks. Every Seahawk match up is like the 9ers never beat them at all.

  26. I am one big mostiquito bite in the bowels of Texas for a few more days, I flipped over to read about VD. Greatest tight end ever ? I guess another time, you had written he is the world’s worst route runner in the NFL, can’t have it both ways, plus he does not play well against the Hawks, can’t have it both ways Grant.

  27. I am one big mostiquito bite in the bowels of Texas …

    Thanks for the visual.

  28. You’re welcome balls. Coming home on Monday, hopefully I can have a fast recovery.

  29. “Greatest tight end ever”, no that would be Tony Gonzales. Vernon Davis is no Tony Gonzales, I don’t care how many balls are thrown his way.

    If Davis gets a new contract this season it will be because the 49ers want some cap space.

  30. Sometimes when reading Bay Area sports stuff I get the feeling that the reporters/columnists/ bloggers feel like they’re the Stars. This in no way is limited to Grant. His feathers got ruffled and he lashed out while doing some CYA back-pedaling, but a review of the usual media sources around NorCal hasn’t revealed any Press Corps outrage other than Grant.
    Sometimes the smallest slight can set one of these guys off. Kawakami? We have many examples. I remember Padecky ranting on and on and on in a hit piece because Jerry Rice didn’t give him a good interview after a game.
    How about Lowell & Nolan. First LC excoriates Nolan for daring to keep him & the rest of the Press waiting after games for his Presser. Then LC writes a glowing explanation of how Mike Nolan has terrible Migraine Headaches and needs a few minutes to decompress and compose himself before meeting the Press. Three weeks later LC is flailing away at Nolan again.
    Capricious and narcissistic.
    Now Grant says the Niners are trying to control the news. Seems to me they are controlling access to employees because Harbaugh likes to control the atmosphere in the building. Vernon has been off the reservation, how surprising is it that the HC wants to go knee-to-knee with a team leader to make sure they’re on the same page before he/they address the media?
    There’s a line from the movie “Chef” where a Food Critic says to a Chef (close to a quote):
    “Never get into an arguement with someone who buys ink by the barrel.” The thing is, Harbaugh and the Niners just don’t care, LOL!

    1. Good points Tuna. I can’t disagree with any of it. The reporters, bloggers, columnists are all jealous of the lives of the athletes, it’s not their fault they make the big bucks and the ink people make jack. Most are a dime a dozen.

    2. Some sports writers think they “deserve” access, as if they are covering the White House. The Niners are just a football team, not a public entity. Bit of a difference.

      1. Another good point. Bay Area media is not very good, when was the last time, any local reporter had breaking news

        1. What? Like Baalke and Harbaugh couldn’t work together any more? Like Harbaugh’s getting traded to Miami? Like the Niners will cut Aldon after the LAX arrest? There are scoops all the time! : >)

  31. Ray Rice receives two game suspension (per NFL Network).
    Aldon Smith’ decision may be coming soon.

    1. 2 games??? For knocking out a woman!

      If Aldon gets more than that woman beater for alcohol and weapons charge that’s an embarrassment to the league, IMO

      1. NFL is getting a lot of negative reaction and push-back and the media is running with it. Most reactions have been that the suspension is too short. My worry is that Roger will take it out on Aldon as cover.
        I guess the League felt like since no charges were filed and thus no conviction, that their response should be measured on Rice. Aldon’s beefs being reduced to misdemeanors may help.

  32. question: during the last three offensive series
    in our last three games of the last three seasons,
    how many times was the ball thrown to Vernon Davis?
    how many completions? …yards? …touchdowns?

    So who actually believes that he will be the spearhead
    if…I say if the team even reaches the Super Bowl again
    (in our lifetime….)….???? Please advise.

  33. Yawn…..
    Don’t worry guys real football news will begin trickling in after this weekend. Then we can read read news worthy writeups and stories.
    The two most important competitions in camp will be between Stevie Johnson and Brandon Lloyd. Even though that competition will be for the #3 spot, what it will do in actuality is free up Boldin more.
    The other competition that is even more important will be between Hyde, Lattimore and Hunter who are all better than Gore at this point. ( Lattimore if healthy )

    The most important decision that the coaches will make this year has nothing to do with Vernon Davis. Davis is not as important to the Niners offense as Grant thinks. The most important decision will revolve around distribution of carries by RB’s. Rewatching games from last year it was very apparent that Hunter is quicker and has a whole other gear that Gore no longer possesses. He deserves more carries. I’m anxious to see if Hyde can finish his runs and move a pile. I am also curious to see Hydes ability to pass block and run out of the pistol. If he shows flashes, he deserves carries. And lastly, Lattimore. If healthy and if she shows explosiveness from the past, he deserves carries.
    Rewatched the Seahawk game played in SF. Gore’s lone long run in the last three games came at the right time. Yes it helped with the game for us. But lets look at that run more closely. He got by the CB and Safety by 5 yards. He got caught from behind at the 10. Every other running back including Dixon would have taken that to the house. It left us in a situation where we had to make a field goal which is not a gimme. It also left us one pass interference call away from being able to lose by a field goal. Time to give more carries to others…..

    1. You yawn quite a bit.

      You’re right that Gore was caught from behind, but it didn’t force them to make a field goal. That was Harbaugh choosing to bleed the clock instead of playing for a TD. It actually worked out better.

      1. Jack,
        say what you will, but I am right. Gore got caught from behind. They chose to keep the ball on the ground and try to pound it in. Gore can’t push the pile versus Seattle and he can’t run wide. So they chose to go for the field goal. But it shouldn’t have come to that. Gore should have scored. But he couldn’t do that either because he can’t outrun anyone.
        Jack, when you and Grant do your puppet act, who sits on who’s lap?

        1. I don’t think I disagreed with you that he was caught from behind.

          Running backs usually don’t do well when there are no holes to run through. This isn’t just a Gore problem though. The Seahawks front 7 has dominated the 49ers up in Seattle.

          1. Because he’s predictable. Tackle to tackle. Can’t bounce it out like Hunter can. Like James can. If teams stuff the middle, then run outside. If your back can’t get to the outside, then put in another back that can.
            The lack of creativity last year versus Seattle from the running back standpoint is baffling. They finally put in a bigger Dixon and he scored a td. I’d give the coaches credit, but they only put him in because Gore broke a finger.


        2. Fanatic, thanks for your post. Hopefully they see they have to diversify their offense, including their running, in the face of improved competition. They are too smart not to see it.

    2. Bay,

      I agree that Gore has lost some speed and he didn’t have a lot to begin with. He also looked like he didn’t have much left by the time the playoffs rolled around. However, I think if he takes a lesser workload, he’s still a very effective RB because he still finds the smallest of holes when they are there, and is the best pass blocking RB in the league.

      I think the bigger issue is what Jack pointed out. Often there just wasn’t anywhere for him to go, and the penetration opposing Dlines – not just the Seahawks – were getting at times was unacceptable. I’ve rewatched every game throughout the offseason and it’s really alarming how bad the interior OL play was at times. Iupati, Goodwin and Boone, all took turns struggling and often played poorly at the same time. The interior OL play really has to improve and be more consistent this year or it won’t matter who is at RB.

      1. Rocket,
        agree with some of that. I think Goodwin was a much larger liability that any of us know.

        1. And that is why the Center competition might be the most important this offseason. Don’t forget he touches the ball first on every offensive play.

          Also, despite how poorly the OL run blocked during the NFCCG, they did avoid lot of false starts, etc. in that crowd noise. A lot of that was Goodwin’s experience. I wonder how Kilgore or Martin will respond to that environment the first time they are in it for real. Hopefully, our center position in 2014 will be like our long-snapper was in 2013 – not noticed!

          1. The lack of focus on the o-line competition(s) is baffling. The skill position competitions are secondary. If the o-line isn’t productive, it won’t matter who is getting the bulk of the carries or manning the No. 3 WR position.

      2. No one gives a crap about Boone. He got zero leverage and I don’t think he is that good, More over-rated then effective. Ask Frank Gore.

      3. It was obvious to anyone that really watched the games that the line was not playing up to it’s inflated reputation in either the run game or providing pass protection. Yet the media still was touting them as one of the best if not the best offensive lines in the league. Pass protection was worse than their run game.

  34. I don’t think thatI’ve kept it a secret that I am not happy as to how the Niners have conducted personnel decisions since the Harbaugh era began. This was a team that was ready for REAL greatness. Building through the draft and with a few good trades, Mike Nolan and Scot McCoughan pieced together a very good team. The experiment of Mike Singeltary was a bust, and then came Harbaugh with trumpets blaring and ego shining. The FO became bellicose in its dealings, with several ‘take it or leave it’ deals offered. I hope that the string will be broken in the present dealings with Vernon Davis and Alex Boone. Harbaugh doesn’t block or tackle…get him off the front page.

    1. Oregon,

      What personnel decisions are you referring too? For the most part I think the team has done a great job of keeping the core of the team together.

      1. He’s right.
        The 9ers have sucked donkey during the Harbaugh era.
        Fire the whole lot!!!

      2. @Rocket

        Alex Smith,Josh Morgan, Isaac Sopoaga, Dashon Goldson, Tarell Brown, Shawntae Spencer, Parys Haralson, Donte Whitner, Carlos Rogers, Takeo Spikes, Delanie Walker, Marcus Cooper, Ted Ginn, AJJ, and a bunch more who are currently on other teams rosters, and getting playing time.

          1. Jack

            If it ain’t broke, don’t screw it up….
            Change CAN be good, but don’t blow up the building just to try out your new chemistry set.

              1. Jack Of course is was, that’s what I was referring to…ever since Donahue ‘gutted’ the roster, it’s been broken. But when Harbaugh took over, it was greatly improved. Sans Baas, Rachal, Abrayo, Michael Lewis(age), Nate Clements(age), and perhaps Takeo, we were a potential winner without receivers or a cohesive Oline….Do you not agree?

        1. Oregon
          Don’t forget about Bill Walsh and his merciless culling of the roster. A long list of his cuts, waives, and trade-aways included future Hall of Famers. It isn’t fun, but it is inevitable.
          Morgan wanted to be on the east coast when he left as a FA. Ask any Washington fans if he was worth the big bucks; he really didn’t produce. David Bass? Hmf. Spencer? Couldn’t play in Vic’s scheme. Alex? New HC went with his hand-picked choice. Soap? Philly unloaded him. Spikes was near the end, and you would’ve kept him to keep Bowman on the bench? DW is good but got big bucks as FA. Do you want Ginn or AJJ back? Marcus Cooper was a pincushion for opposing QBs.
          Roger Craig, Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Jeremy Newberry on Bill’s list.

          1. @Bro Tuna

            Yes, I do remember Bill Walshs cuts, and like most of us here, I felt the cuts too. In answer, Morgan is what, 27 years old, and his last season he had a crippled rookie QB recovering from his broken ankle here when he should have been on the bench. David Baas was never a quality player IMO,I don’t know what you say about Spencer, but I liked how he played. Alex takes us to the NFLC game and loses his saddle to a concussion. SOP did get unloaded at Philly as did the HC who unloaded him. Yeah, Spikes was long in the tooth, but played two years after here but Navarro hadn’t seen the field before he was cut/traded.Your next question is a tough one, because I was jacked about getting Teddy G, and I don’t think he got an adequate shot except PR. The same about AJJ, our #1, and he only gets one target(?) Marcus Cooper was a rookie on his second team. Bro, I’m in agreement with you about most of these guys, but I don’t think that chemistry can be rebuilt yearly without a large holdover. This year WILL be a telling year as to whether either of us is right or wrong. Thanks

        2. Oregon,

          There are some good players there I get that, but my question is: how would you go about keeping them all? This league does not allow teams to keep players, at least not beyond a few core ones. Most of those guys you listed were replaced by comparable, or in some instances, better players. Others were just too expensive to keep. It’s the reality of the cap system and even though Baalke is not perfect with his personnel moves, he’s been better than most which the past 3 seasons would justify.

          1. Rocket

            You refer to the expensive of some of these players….personally, I don’t believe that I have seen any figures being asked by either the players or their agents….ONLY sports journalists. Which makes it a crapshoot if they are or aren’t too or more expensive. That is only known to Paarag.

            Not saying it isn’t out there, but I’ve never seen it.

  35. Disappointing read Grant. I wanted at least 2 references to reptiles.or at the very least amniotes.

  36. Bay,
    What-up Bro,
    Yup, all the real news substance should be forthcoming. The Lloyd vs Johnson battle should be interesting, but I’m going (at least predicting) with S.Johnson to take the #3 WR spot when the dust settles.

    My take about Lloyd and his positives coming out of OTA’ was that the practices were all non-contact and any WR should be able to catch in that environment. Lloyd has a reputation of shying away from contact and will not be a willing participant going over the middle.

    Stevie Johnson is 6’2″ weighing in at about 210 which makes him bigger than BL. Johnson is also more physical than BL which is very important in our division.

    Now, I respectfully disagree with you regarding your take on Frank Gore. Although FG is 31 which makes him a dinosaur as an NFL RB, he has been productive.
    Many here have been retiring/trading FG for the last 3 seasons and all he does is rush for a 1,000 yrds in those 3 yrs.

    Also, I love M.Lattimore’ heart and passion, but he may never be the runner he was a few years ago. It would not surprise me if the 49ers gave ML one more year on PUP to see if he can recapture his pre-injury ability.

    C.Hyde may become our future RB. But as of now he has yet to prove anything. I like Hyde’ size and ability, but I also liked Kevin Barlow and Anthony Dixon’ size and abilities coming in.
    Barlow thought he was a scatback and Dixon was more efficient as a ST’ player.

    I think that Hyde will get his opportunities and we’ll just have to see what he does when he’s on the field. Until then, he is a non-factor imo.

    If FG get’s little respect around the league, KHunt get’s very little respect from the 49ers Faithful.
    Hunter has quietly put together some formidable numbers as FG’ back-up. He played at about 75-80% (health) last year coming back from a bad injury and still was respectable.
    Hunter will be the #2 RB this season.

    Here’s my RB pecking order:
    MLattimore (if healthy)

    All good Bay,
    Let the competition begin!

  37. I just think that when you have LaMichael James who in led the country in rushing in 2010 and was second only to Ball in 2011, he needs some carries. 3500 yards in two season and 35 TD’s. And he can’t get on the field? Why because he doesn’t predominantly run between tackles like Gore? That’s lazy on the coaching staff’s part. Look back and watch his limited carries against Atlanta, Green Bay. He’s run well.
    Hunter was a top ten back in the entire country. Has shown he’s more explosive than Gore and only gets a hand full of carries?
    Many think that Hyde was the best RB to come out of college this year. How many carries will he get?
    The best player at every position should get the majority of snaps. Last year I don’t think Gore was that guy. This year I definitely know he’s not that guy. My opinion.

    1. Bay,
      Frank Gore has been the best player since he became the starter and his numbers will bear that out.
      He was our best player during the Alex Smith era and an argument could be made that he is still one of our best players in the Harbaugh/CK era.

      There is a reason why some football analyst call FG the “Inconvenient Truth.” Gore is not a high profile, electric and exciting RB with break-away speed. He just get’s it done – over and over and over again.
      Hank Stram would have loved a player like FG – “just matriculate the ball down the field baby!” was Stram’ mantra. And that is what Frank Gore has been doing for 10 seasons.

      As long as the old war-horse still has fight in him he’s not going anywhere. Harbaugh & Co know this all to well.

      1. AES,
        agree with everything you said. It’s hard for me to write anything negative about Gore. Personally it really is. It just seems like he’s in there on reputation at this point.

        Here’s another position. Gore ran very well against certain opponents last year. When he’s running well, let him continue to run. The Niners need to possibly mix up their personnel according to Gore’s performance early in games, and according to the matchup.
        We know Frank hasn’t done jack against the Seahawks lately. Last game Frank had 14 yards on 11 carries. Same game Hunter had 16 yards on 3 carries. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what has to be done. That matchup doesn’t favor Gore.

        1. Bay,
          Agree that FG did not do well against the c-hawks, but a case could be made that the team as a whole did not fare well against them – and that includes the coaching.

          I’m starting to believe that Gore thrives on the negative critique aimed at him.
          If that’s truly the case, I look for FG to have another 1,000+ rushing season.

        2. Gore needs holes to run through more than he did in the past. He doesn’t seem to possess the same leg strength to push the pile after contact like he once did. Against Seattle the line doesn’t open up many holes so Gore is ineffective. He also doesn’t possess the speed to run outside so that pretty much limits his contributions as far as the run game is concerned. Most of you idolize Gore and see what you wish to see, but he isn’t the Gore of old no matter what you want to believe. Being caught from behind was a shocker and very telling.

          1. Willtalk,
            Speaking for myself, I don’t idolize anyone or anything (to old for that, lol).

            But yes I love Frank Gore’ attitude, passion, and all the intangibles he brings to the game and the locker room. Gore is the heart and soul of this team.
            Also, it doesn’t hurt that FG is still a top 10 RB in the league, so I’m not about to write his epitaph just yet.

            You are correct about FG not having speed, but he’s never been a speed runner.
            He will get caught from behind, but he will also punch-out the tough yards.
            One thing that many here fail to mention is FG’ willingness and great ability as a blocker.
            FG may be the best RB blocker in all of football, and how/why many of the Gore detractors don’t acknowledge the importance of this is baffling.

            It is what it is when it comes to FG.
            And it will continue to be what it is – Frank Gore starting RB in 2014. Barring injury, I see no reason why FG can’t put together another 1,000 yrd season.

            1. I don’t think the loss of speed is that important in the over all picture. It’s just one more thing that portends his decline. The first thing I noticed was his lack of push after contact. The other was his wearing down earlier and earlier each progressive season. As to pass protection. No one seems to notice or bring up the two key blocks he missed at the end of the Superbowl. One during the two point conversion and the other on the fourth down play. The guy that was in Kaeps face each time went right by Gore unblocked. Gore was just standing in the backfield blocking no one. More so the two point try because Gore was on the same side. If Gore just gets in the guys way a bit they get two points and can go for a tie on a field goal on the last forth down play. Gore is still a good back and good blocker but everyone seems to miss plays like the one I pointed out as if they didn’t even happen. Watch the films and tell me I am wrong.

    2. If Hunter doesn’t get a significant increase in carries this year, he’s gone.
      He’ll get a starting job on some mediocre team for too much money.
      Gore is still the main man not only because he’s a seasoned vet and can pick up blitzes better than any other RB in the league, but because the Harbaugh system is a conservative one–run to set up the pass…and then run some more.
      Gore is stable and that’s what Jim wants.
      The starting duties won’t be turned over to a younger back until that younger back can do EVERYTHING Gore can do, only better.
      That said, I don’t think Gore’s current abilities translate to a 1,000+ yd season in most other systems around the league.
      But you can’t rate a RB simply on yards and TDs.
      A good starting RB does much, much more than just run the ball.
      You reading this Iggy???

  38. Some key developments today that could affect the Niners.

    Ray Rice getting two games for assaulting his Fiance and Roddy White signing a new 4 year extension for 30 mill.

    Rice got off pretty lightly which I have to think means Smith will get 1 game max considering the charges were reduced to misdemeanors.

    White is a comparable talent to Crabtree but is also a few years older so it will be interesting to see what Crabtree is asking for.

    1. I don’t think Smith gets anything less than 2 games. He was sentenced unlike Rice.

      1. Yes but he did ” voluntary” attend and finish a program which caused him to miss 5 games. If Godell keeps to his word and takes in account about those games he should only be suspended for 1 game. Aldon was sentenced but not given jail time. More like community service. 1 game suspension is my guess.

      2. It all depends on the how much weight Goodell places on the LAX incident. I think 2 is the number, but I would also be surprised to see it being more than 2. Ultimately the purpose of the suspensions is to change behavior. Aldon is reported to be going to see Goodell and has the opportunity to show that his behavior has already changed. I think the 2-gamer includes a fine for 4 2013 game checks to address “time served”.

        1. I think Goodell is making Aldon come to see him so he can have him mow his lawn and wash his car every week for the remainder of the season and call it community service. He had also considered making Smith serve as his Butler as well but that would be too much like a Seinfield episode.

    2. 2 games is possible, but there was video footage of Rice knocking his fiancee out cold, so I don’t think whether or not he got convicted played a part in the ruling.

      Bottom line is Smith has already made amends for the drinking problem which Goodell has acknowledged. The Gun possession charge is two years old and was just reduced to a misdemeanor. I’m not sure how that warrants the same penalty as assaulting a woman. I don’t think the airport deal will play any part in this. He never was charged and nothing was ever reported about him using a bomb threat other than speculation.

    1. Hammer,
      A bit curious about your interest on the 49ers new press room. Are you going to be working the games (in the press room) this coming season?

      If you are, can we expect some fresh 49ers news/updates from you during games?
      That would be good.

      1. AES,

        Thanks for asking but I don’t have the connections to make that happen yet. I just saw a few pics of it today and it’s a huge upgrade over that old tent they’ve been using.

        As for fresh takes during games this year, I generally try to hold back while the game is going on but I can step it up if you’re up for it.

        1. Hammer,
          If I could, I would certainly endorse you as the PD/Grant’ intern to work the press box.

          And yes, I’ll be looking forward to your game “takes” this season bud.

  39. Grant just can’t admit that he was wrong about all of the leverage that VD has. Luckily, VD realized that he has no leverage. His contract may get extended, but he’s not going to get a huge raise over and above the kind of money that he’s already been paid.

  40. Grant always writing negative colums, when we’re all happy football is back! Vernon is a professional dont think he will hold out before the season start, I think the front office gets something done before season starts an extension is what I see, money freed up next year Iupati not back creates cap room and Gore on last year of deal and if Crabtree leaves even more cap room, so patience is a virtue.

  41. Hey guys ..

    Let’s not pile on Grant too much.. ok ?
    realize .. it takes awhile before a sports writer earns his
    chops … and he’s paying his dues, right now …

    (I’m just glad Kawakami ain’t running the show)

    But hey.. Grant … doncha think this column has a touch
    of sensationalism ? …

    It’s kinda like having a headline like
    “Bright object spotted in the sky”

    then along about the 4th paragraph … you find out..
    it’s the moon ..

      1. You certainly must give him credit for that. I don’t know of anyone who handles the degree of criticism as well as he does to the responses for his articles. He would certainly make a great umpire.

  42. The 49ers tried to control the news. It’s like they said, “Write about what we want you to write.”

    Grant you got a problem with that? If so maybe you ought to do something about how your reporters report the national news. They only report what they want you/we to read. Normally I would support you on this concept of controlling news as I don’t believe in it, but the reporters in all aspects of reporting do the same thing report what you/they want us to read. So don’t give me this bull of controlling the news, its probably true but you and your associates are guilty as the Niners are.

  43. “News” in contemporary context means Infotainment. This (NOT player critiques) is where the term Turtle should be applied to the Niners; the coaches+players+PR Dept. react like turtles to questions. That’s in response to relentlessly prying eyes and ears of media trying to feed fans’ insatiable desire for info. It’s a mentality that is necessary competitively within their industry too; BB’s Spygate is an example.
    So you can work with it and around it as a journalist like the Boston press does or complain. After this long the Beantown reporters just shrug.

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