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Grant Cohn: 49ers' Vernon Davis has leverage in contract showdown (w/video)

  • Vernon Davis, with 13 TD catches last season, represents the 49ers' chief deep threat in their passing game. (Associated Press)

SANTA CLARA – Taped to Vernon Davis' locker is a white piece of paper that has a message printed on it: “Please come by the EQ Room and try on your helmet. Needs to be fitted by Friday, 5/23.”

I guess Davis missed that message.

You can tell he hasn't visited his locker in a while. It looks like a diorama collecting dust in a museum. Inside are two packages, three big envelopes, clean shirts on hangers, white socks folded into little balls, bottles of lotion, a stool and pads.

No helmet, though. Only players who showed up to the mandatory mini-camp have 49ers helmets in their lockers.

Last week, I asked Jim Harbaugh if he expected Davis to attend this week's mini-camp. Harbaugh said yes. He expected incorrectly. Davis wants the 49ers to renegotiate his contract before he returns to the team, so he's holding out. Starting right guard Alex Boone is holding out, too.

Outside the 49ers' locker room Tuesday afternoon, looking toward the 49ers' new stadium and his narrow, open face squinting in the Santa Clara sunlight, Harbaugh answered questions about Davis and Boone. “I'm disappointed in that decision, for them not to be here. There was a voluntary segment to the offseason and we appreciate those guys volunteering to make the team better. Now, it's mandatory. Not the decision that I envision being the 49er way. Really nothing more to be said about it. The focus will be on what's going on here. Others may try to make the focus on that story, but our story is on the football side of it.”

The past few months, Harbaugh was happy to put the focus on Colin Kaeperick's contract. A reporter asked Harbaugh on May 28 if he expected the 49ers to extend Kaepernick's contract before training camp. “I'm hopeful,” said Harbaugh. “I'm a big proponent of Colin Kaepernick, his abilities. On record as stating that I would like to see that happen.”

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