SANTA CLARA — San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis has vowed to put his holdout behind him, entering camp without the new contract that he fought for.
And he says that’s completely fine with him.
In the weeks leading up to training camp, it appeared that Davis was ready to dig in for the long haul with fellow holdout Alex Boone.
But on Thursday afternoon, Davis was singing a different tune:
“That’s in the past, I’m not really worried about the contract. That’s between the team and my agent … my focus is out here, trying to get better.”
Davis, who is set to make $5.1 million during the 2014 season, has drawn the ire of fans, critics, and even coach Jim Harbaugh who stated it was “not the 49ers way” for holding out from team activities.
But the tight end offered an endearing answer as to why he decided to rejoin the team:
“It was a very easy decision. All you gotta do is think about the team, that’s what I did, I thought about my teammates. Especially some of the guys like Frank Gore, some of the guys that are on the last end of their contract, guys that I love and would die for.”
Davis may also be taking a cue from tackle Joe Staley, who despite unhappiness regarding his current contract, had perfect attendance to the 49ers offseason programs, earning himself a two-year contract extension from general manager Trent Baalke last Thursday.
While the tight end returned to the team with nothing more than $270,000 dollars in fine for missing portions of the offseason programs and workout bonuses, Davis defended his effort to attempt to better his contract situation:
“Just like anything, everybody always wants a deal. Every player in the league. It’s just a nature of the game.”
After going on a media parade in which he claimed he would attend minicamp, only to state his desire to holdout from the team on a blog post for MMQB, the 49ers hope that this will be the final chapter in Davis’ attempts to gain a new contract.
And with just over two weeks until the 49ers first preseason game against Baltimore, it appears as if Davis himself is ready to turn his focus back on the field.
“I just love playing football. Anytime I’m away from these guys I’m hurting. And it really hurt me to be away from this group because we have such a special group. Definitely have a playoff team, and we definitely want to get back to where we left off.”