Tight end Vernon Davis, one of only two 49ers players not participating in the team’s voluntary offseason workout program, is apparently hoping to leverage his high-profile absence into a new contract.
Davis, who has two years remaining on a lucrative deal he signed before the 2010 season opener, is remaining away from the 49ers' organized workout program due to dissatisfaction with his contract, a source indicated to CSNBayArea.com.
Neither Davis nor his agent, Todd France, responded to a request for comment on Davis’ absence from the official offseason program.
When 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was asked Wednesday why Davis has not been attending workouts at the team’s Santa Clara practice facility, he answered, “As you know, the workouts are voluntary. That would be the reason.”
However, the workouts are not voluntary for Davis, who is sacrificing his annual $200,000 workout bonus with his absence, said a source familiar with Davis' deal.
The 49ers’ mandatory minicamp is scheduled for June 17-19. Any player who chooses not to attend the minicamp is subject to a fine up to $60,000, according to the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement.
Guard Alex Boone is the other player who is not taking part in the 49ers’ offseason program. He is also seeking a new contract, a source confirmed. Boone is scheduled to earn $2.25 million this season and $1.45 million (with a possible $1.05 million escalator) in 2015.
Davis signed a five-year extension in 2010 that included a $10 million signing bonus and averages $7.35 million annually through the 2015 season. His average salary ranks No. 3 among tight ends behind New England’s Rob Gronkowski ($8 million) and Dallas’ Jason Witten ($7.4 million).
Under terms of the front-loaded deal, Davis was scheduled to earn $5.3 million (before forfeiting his workout bonus) this season and $4.95 million in 2015 in salary and bonuses.
Davis, 30, an eight-year veteran, caught 52 passes for 850 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. He became the first tight end in NFL history to record two seasons with 12 or more touchdown catches in a season. He also had 13 scoring receptions in 2009.
The 49ers are just $1.73 million under the NFL’s salary cap, according to the NFL Players Association. The 49ers will gain another $6.6 million in cap space next week when released veteran cornerback Carlos Rogers’ contract is officially removed from the books.
But the 49ers also have a collection of potentially high-priced players who are entering the final years of their contracts, including quarterback Colin Kaepernick, wide receiver Michael Crabtree and guard Mike Iupati. In addition, the 49ers picked up the fifth-year option for outside linebacker Aldon Smith. His scheduled salary will rise to $9.754 million in 2015.