Graham ruling won’t affect Vernon Davis

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Earlier this year, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis said on NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk that he’s more receiver than tight end.  Coupled with his support for Jimmy Graham’s effort to get paid as a receiver, Davis presumably is looking for similar treatment.

But the facts tell a different story, at least for now.  As explained by Matt Maiocco of, Davis lined up as a tight end 64.5 percent of the time in 2013.  If that same trend holds through the final year of his current contract in 2015, Davis wouldn’t be eligible for the receiver franchise tag in 2016.

Of course, this assumes the 49ers would even use the tight end franchise tag on Davis in 2016, when he’ll be 32 years old.  It also assumes that Davis doesn’t get between now and then the contract extension he currently covets.

For all tight ends who catch passes, the question of whether he’d be tagged as a receiver or tight end hinges on the outcome of the Graham grievance — and the question of whether the player lines up tight to the tackle more often than not, if Graham wins.  If Graham and the Saints resolve the situation with a long0-term deal before a final ruling, the uncertainty will linger for every other team with a pass-catching tight end who is routinely used wide or in the slot.

8 responses to “Graham ruling won’t affect Vernon Davis

  1. No team that gives the ball up 7 times in one game deserve to be anywhere near a Super Bowl…

  2. I have to ask once again – where in the CBA does it state that the definition of a tight end is a player that lines up next to the tackle on every play?

    That definition does not exist on the document nor is it an accurate definition of what a tight end is. Tight ends have always line up next to the tackle and they also have always lined up in the slot. The NFL will prove this. Playing the slot is and has always been a part of the Y receiver, a.k.a. “tight end’s” responsibilities.

  3. Make like a 40 to 60 hybrid designation for TE’s. If a TE lines up against the line less than 40% he gets the TE tag, if he lines up off the line more than 60% of the time he gets the WR tag. Anything within that range and they split the difference.

    Receiver: $12.312 million.
    Tight end: $7.035 million.
    *Hybrid TE: $9.65 million.

    Same could be done with DE. vs. LB.

  4. Seems to me like more TEs jumping on this bandwagon is the last thing Graham or the NFLPA would want right now. If a dozen TEs stand up this week and say “Me too!” it just confirms that the TE position has become more flexible and receiving-oriented, not that they’re all WRs.

  5. Oh Vernon – if you didn’t like the contract you signed, then you shouldn’t have signed it. If you already spent all the money you’ve earned, then you shouldn’t have spent it. And this is coming from a lifelong niners fan and a big Vernon Davis fan. I can still remember him breaking down in tears when he was selected in the draft, and how humbled he was by the honor.

    Something serious must be going on in his personal life for him to have resorted to selling stock shares in himself and to be willing to be traded like a commodity, and even after that cash influx to still be quasi-holding out for a new contract. People don’t change who they are as a person so suddenly at this stage in life unless a major event flips their world upside down.

    Vernon Davis has always been a good guy and has represented the 49’er franchise respectably, so I hope whatever is going on NEVER gets leaked to the media. I don’t need to know about his personal issues (if he even has any that are causing this). He’s been a great player who, at least publicly, has been a model citizen on behalf of the NFL. He does not deserve the bashing and ridicule that he’s received recently.

  6. Vernon has proved that he is not the sharpest tool in the shed, lining up in the wrong position and running wrong routs. He is getting bad advise for a last money grab and is drinking the punch. But I have grown to respect Vernon’s production and humbleness (post Singletary pre stock option) just wonder how the renaissance Vernon will work out. The window is closing and if there isn’t a replacement on the roster, give him a performance based raise that makes his investors feel warn and fuzzy.

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