Vernon Davis on Wednesday admitted he was watching Jimmy Graham's contract situation closely and was rooting for the Saints tight end, er, wide receiver to come out a winner. The Saints placed the franchise tag on Graham this year at the tight end rate. He argues that he should be tagged as a receiver, a figure nearly $5.3 million greater.
“Woohoo! That works for me!” Davis told Maggie Gray on SI Now when asked if he wanted to see Graham win his case.
Asked, however, if he should be classified as a wide receiver, Davis said, “You know what? I'm a tight end. I'm a tight end. But I must say, if it happens, then I'm sure every tight end's going to try to follow behind Jimmy Garham. But my role is to play the tight end position. I do everything they tell me to do.”
Davis, 30, hasn't taken part in the 49ers offseason workouts because he wants a new contract. The problem is that the tight end market has been stagnant in recent years and Davis is the third-highest paid player at the position. He's the second-highest paid 49er, and his 2014 salary is more than wide receivers Michael Crabtree's and Anquan Boldin's combined salaries.
According to Pro Football Focus, Davis lined up as a traditional tight end 64.5 percent of the time in 2013. He led the team that season in touchdown catches and yards per reception. Davis told The Bee last week he wasn't sure whether he would miss this month's mandatory minicamp. All of the workouts thus far have been voluntary, though Davis did forfeit a $200,000 workout bonus by skipping them.