Would the San Francisco 49ers Trade Vernon Davis?


The San Francisco 49ers find themselves in a bind with arguably their best deep threat receiver. TE Vernon Davis has been a no-show thus far for the team. Davis strongly believes he has outplayed his contract that he signed back in 2010.

Davis signed a 6 year $42.7M contract that included $23M guaranteed. He has two years remaining on his deal, that will pay him $4.7M in 2014 and $4.35M in 2015. He will become an unrestricted free agent in 2016.

Davis believes he does more than just catch passes for the 49ers. Prior to quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking control of the offense, Davis hardly got the ball down-field from quarterback Alex Smith. This hugely impacted Davis’s stats since 2010. Let’s not forget to mention, he was asked to block continuously for the run game and constantly drew double teams when receiver Michael Crabtree went down with his injury. However, the last three seasons, he has come on strong – especially in the red zone for the 49ers.

Davis wants to be paid like a wide receiver and has a close eye on TE Jimmy Graham’s arbitration battle with the New Orleans Saints. However, according to Pro Football Focus, the numbers indicate that Davis does not have a legitimate argument. Davis has lined up at tight end 64.5% of the time during the 2013 NFL season.

That is not the case for Graham in New Orleans. According to Pro Football Focus, Graham lined up 66.6% of the time as a wide receiver. Those numbers are in favor for Graham but definitely not Davis.

Head coach Jim Harbaugh is not too thrilled with the way Davis has handled this situation. The 49ers run a tight ship in San Francisco and as Kaepernick would put it, “if intimidation is your game plan, then you need a better one.” Certainly, Davis needs a better one here.

If this continues deep into training camp, some analysts believe that Davis may be put on the trading block. If that indeed does occur, look for San Francisco to play a lot of three or four wide receiver sets, especially since Crabtree, Boldin, Johnson, Lloyd and Ellington all have big play capabilities.

The best approach for Davis in this scenario is to come to camp and play out his two years as a 49er. If he chooses not to, this will become a very intriguing situation. For the most part, the 49ers have all the leverage. Most believe Davis will be in camp, especially once the fines start coming.

If the fines do not phase him, then what type of demand would Davis have on the trading block? He is the main catapult to this offense. He opens up the run game and draws an additional safety in coverage usually. It will be interesting to see how much the 49ers’ organization values him.

Vernon’s main goal is to build his brand and there is no better way to do that than by playing for a Super Bowl contender. He should be in a 49ers uniform this year — but there are no guarantees. The Bay Area has officially been put on notice.

Shakeel Khan is a sports writer for VAVEL USA and @49ers writer for Pro Football Central.


  1. zach1234 says

    Trade him now..

  2. zach1234 says

    He is no where to be found in good games.