NEW YORK – Vernon Davis is now the highest-paid tight end in NFL history.
Davis signed a five-year extension with the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday. A person familiar with the contract told the Associated Press that Davis will get $37 million overall, with $34 million guaranteed. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract details were not released.
The contract is worth $3 million more in guaranteed money than San Diego’s Antonio Gates received.
Davis, entering his fifth NFL season, led the 49ers with 78 catches last year for 965 yards and 13 touchdowns, which tied Gates’ NFL mark for the position. Davis made his first Pro Bowl in 2009 and tied for the league lead in touchdown catches with Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald.
Davis has 181 receptions for 2,097 yards and 22 touchdowns in his career.
A first-round draft pick in 2006 out of Maryland, Davis is a team captain, a good blocker as well as a threat over the middle and deep.
In extending Davis’ contract, the 49ers have made deals with two of their best players. All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis got a five-year extension in May.
Once known for scuffling with teammates, Davis has become a team leader under coach Mike Singletary.
“Vernon is a guy that understands that you have to come out here and just do the best you can. Vernon loves the game, he’s focused, he’s making the plays he is supposed to make, and at some point in time, he’ll take that next level,” Singletary said during the preseason. “But he’s just really having fun. He really is.”
Davis and second-year wide receiver Michael Crabtree got into a spat during training camp, after which Davis said he was simply displaying his leadership.
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