At the scouting combine in February, general manager Trent Baalke hinted the 49ers were exploring contract extensions with some of their young players.
It turns out one was right tackle Anthony Davis, who signed a five-year deal with the 49ers on Thursday that keeps him under contract through 2019.
The contract, first reported by Pro Football Talk, is worth $37.295 million with $17 million guaranteed. Davis' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, helped broker a long-term deal with another young 49ers star, linebacker NaVorro Bowman, last season.
Davis, 23, was one of the 49ers' two first-round picks in 2010 (the 49ers traded up to take him No. 11 overall), and he has made big strides since his rookie season. Davis is one of two 49ers offensive linemen Alex Boone is the other who played every snap in 2012. Davis is scheduled to earn $1.3 million in base salary next season.
He also is one of several young players whose initial contract was set to end after the 2014 season. That group includes fellow 2010 first-round pick Mike Iupati, wide receiver Michael Crabtree and 2011 draft stars Colin Kaepernick and Aldon Smith. The 49ers can't begin working on new deals for Kaepernick and Smith until the conclusion of next season.
Still, those deals are looming, especially Kaepernick's, and they are why the 49ers have not signed any big, long-term deals for free agents this year. Most have been modest one- or two-year contracts.
The 49ers are believed to have just under $4 million in salary-cap space, enough to sign their draft class.