The 49ers way: No contract negotiations until player reports

The 49ers way: No contract negotiations until player reports
June 19, 2014, 8:45 am



The 49ers set a precedent in 2011 with Gore. It’s difficult to believe team president and chief negotiator Paraag Marathe will make exceptions for Davis and Boone.
Matt Maiocco

Editor's note: Matt Maiocco is in Santa Clara Tuesday through Thursday for the 49ers’ three-day minicamp. Stay logged on to CSNBayArea.com and tune in nightly to SportsNet Central and Yahoo SportsTalk Live for comprehensive coverage.

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers dealt with a holdout of a prominent player during training camp three years ago.

The NFL lockout of 2011 was settled, and Jim Harbaugh could finally begin coaching his new team when training camp opened in late-July. All he lacked as the practices began was his do-everything running back.

Frank Gore was entering the final year of his contract. He wanted some reassurance that the team planned on him to remain around for future seasons. So Gore opted to remain in Miami while his teammates got to work in Santa Clara.

Here’s what was learned from that episode: The 49ers were willing to enter into good-faith negotiations on a new deal with Gore’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, only after Gore reported to training camp.

That appears to be the 49er way.

Tight end Vernon Davis and guard Alex Boone want new contracts from the 49ers. In hopes of leveraging the 49ers for more-lucrative deals, they withheld their services during the eight weeks of voluntary workouts, as well as this week’s mandatory minicamp.

In 2009, rookie wide receiver Michael Crabtree (and his agent, Eugene Parker) wanted a deal better than his slot as the No. 10 player chosen in the draft. The 49ers did not negotiate on his terms, and he missed the first five regular-season games of his career.

Ultimately, when other first-round draft picks signed five-year contracts, the 49ers got Crabtree wrapped up for six seasons.

Gore was the last 49ers holdout. His contract stand lasted four days in the summer of 2011.

Thirty days after reporting to camp, the 49ers and Gore agreed on a three-year contract extension through 2014 season. His 2011 pay rose from $4.375 million to $5 million and he received no fully guaranteed money.

Boone, who has started every game the past two seasons at right guard, has outplayed the contract he signed in 2011 – when he was a backup tackle. Davis believes he has outplayed his 2010 deal. He still ranks as the third-highest-paid tight end in the NFL with a $7.35 million average.

Both Boone and Davis are subject to nearly $70,000 in fines for skipping this week’s mandatory minicamp. Players with unexcused absences during training camp can be fined $30,000 a day under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement.

The 49ers set a precedent in 2011 with Gore. It’s difficult to believe team president and chief negotiator Paraag Marathe will make exceptions for Davis and Boone.