The 49ers have signed tight end Vernon Davis to a five-year contract extension that makes him the highest paid tight end in the NFL history, according to a source with knowledge of the deal. The Chargers’ Antonio Gates, who in July signed a five-year deal that pays him $20.4 million guaranteed and $36.2 million overall, previously had been the top-paid player at his position. Davis’ deal calls for $23 million in guaranteed money and is worth at much as $37 million overall.
Davis’ deal comes a little more than 24 hours before his first game in 2010 and follows on the heels of a 2009 season that was far and away his best to date. Davis, the No. 6 pick in the 2006 draft, finished with 78 receptions for 965 yards and tied for the league lead with 13 touchdowns. At 6-3, 250 pounds, Davis is a unique blend of power and speed. He’s sometimes asked to block defensive ends one and one and he also had the 49ers’ longest touchdown catch — 73 yards — last season. Here’s a story I wrote about Davis’ evolution back in January.
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