Vernon Davis is out and Vance McDonald is in. Davis is holding out from minicamp as of Tuesday, which means that the 49ers backup will get the first team reps. McDonald did not have a stellar showing during his rookie season. He played 19 games (including the postseason) and accounted for only nine catches. Not exactly Vernon Davis production, but that’s probably why Davis is holding out. No one really amounts to Vernon Davis production.
Admittedly, McDonald is more of a blocking tight end anyways. The fact that they have their blocking tight end taking reps with the first team indicates their faith that they will come to agreement with Vernon Davis — or perhaps that he’ll cave first. Either way, Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area has pinned the two tight ends as players to watch for 49ers minicamp.
As soon as Davis returns, he’ll have the No. 1 tight end spot back. It’s not like McDonald is inching into Davis’ territory. But it certainly benefits the young tight end to be branching away from his blocking role and catching passes with Colin Kaepernick.
Maiocco also points out a nice discrepancy between Davis’ wants and the reality of the pay situation:
Davis has 93 catches for 1,398 yards and 18 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He is 30 years old. Wide receiver Eric Decker, 27, had 172 receptions for 2,352 yards and 24 TDs over that same period with the Denver Broncos.
Decker just signed a five-year deal with the New York Jets this offseason that averages $7.25 million. Davis’ deal, which he signed in 2010, averages $7.35 million per season. Moreover, Davis and Decker are represented by the same agent, Todd France.