San Francisco 49ers

Will Vernon Davis be back with 49ers? ‘Absolutely,’ Baalke says

San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) drops pass by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) in the third quarter during a game against the Washington Redskins at Levi's Stadium Sunday November 23, 2014 in Santa Clara.
San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) drops pass by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) in the third quarter during a game against the Washington Redskins at Levi's Stadium Sunday November 23, 2014 in Santa Clara. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- Vernon Davis had the worst year of his career in 2014, but general manager Trent Baalke said he "absolutely" envisioned having the tight end on the team in 2015. Davis is set to count nearly $7 million against the salary cap in the upcoming season, which, in light of his 245-yards, two-touchdown season in 2014 has led to speculation he could be released.

"I think if you look into those numbers," Baalke said of Davis' contract, "they’re not as daunting as you may think."

There is reason to believe that Davis is more motivated and eager to prove himself this offseason than he was a year ago when he was coming off a 13-touchdown season. Last year, he missed the bulk of the team's offseason program, including a mandatory minicamp, in the hopes of securing a better contract.

This year, there has been talk of Davis joining Colin Kaepernick in Phoenix where the 49ers quarterback has been training since December. There also is the hope that, entering the final year of his contract, Davis has plenty of financial incentive to rebound from his disappointing 2014 season.

Davis runs an art gallery, owns a Jamba Juice franchise in Santa Clara and recently opened a training center, D1, in the area. Baalke, however, said he wasn't concerned that Davis lacked focus last season.

"He’s never come into camp out of shape," he said. "He’s never come into camp less than motivated to have the best season he could. There’s a lot of circumstances that went into his decline last season and I think he’s looking, as are we, to the future, and coming back and having a heck of a year."

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Et cetera -- Baalke said he would meet with Eugene Parker, who represents receiver Michael Crabtree, and that he would meet with the agents of several of the players who are scheduled to reach free agency next month. That includes starters like guard Mike Iupati and running back Frank Gore.

"We’ve had several conversations with their agents, but the real meetings will start taking place here moving forward," he said.

* Only a few of Jim Tomsula's coaches will arrive in Indianapolis this week to help evaluate players. That group includes Tomsula and the team's coordinators, Geep Chryst on offense and Eric Mangini on defense. Others will remain in Santa Clara to continue evaluating the 49ers' current roster and to begin putting together the offense and defense.

* Aldon Smith is set to earn $9.754 million for 2015. The only way that changes is if the 49ers release him before March 10. That doesn’t appear to be in the plans. “A lot of people haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Aldon,” Baalke said of Smith. “A great young man. He’s had some off-the-field adversity, some personal adversity that he’s trying to deal with and is dealing with. But, if you’ve ever had an opportunity to meet him, I think you’d feel how most of us feel, a tremendous young man.”

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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