Davis isn't concerned about money, which was evident by his regular attendance at the team's facility during the most recent offseason program. That came in staunch opposition to last year, when Davis held out during minicamp and OTAs, hoping to land a new contract extension. There were two years left on his existing deal, and the 49ers didn't budge.
Then, surprisingly, Davis reported to training camp on time, taking away the point of his holdout in the first place. He entered camp without getting valuable work in the spring with the rest of the offense, including quarterback Colin Kaepernick, before posting the fewest receiving yards (245) and touchdowns (2) of his career.
"Last year I had a lot of people in my ear," Davis said Friday. "Particularly, I had an adviser, who kept telling me, ‘Hey, you should try and get another contact, blah blah blah.’ As my fiduciary, he was right about a lot of things, so I listened to him, I took his advice. But during the course of that season, I had a chance to really think about it, like ‘What am I doing? I don’t play this game for money. That’s not why I play.’"
Davis came to that realization before the start of last season, and fired that adviser because, "He worships money. That’s not what I worship," Davis said.
During the previous three seasons, when the 49ers reached the conference title game and made a Super Bowl appearance, Davis was one of the team's most valuable players. His versatility allowed San Francisco to have an elite rushing offense because of his blocking, while he could still beat defensive backs down field as a deep target. In 2013, he matched his career high with 13 touchdowns and averaged 16.3 yards per completion.
But Davis was virtually non-existent last year, dealing with back and ankle injuries that limited his physical gifts that made him one of the league's most dangerous tight ends.
Last season wasn't just a rough one for Davis. The 49ers finished 8-8, their worst record since 2010, that led to the removal of Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff. The offense finished ranked 25th in scoring (19.1 points per game) and 21st in yards per game (327.4).
"There were a lot of factors. You look at the season, last year as a team, I think overall no one really did well - from a coaching standpoint as well as players," Davis said. "We didn’t have the season we wanted to have. It happens. It happens sometimes. I can’t really put my finger on, in detail, what really went on. But it’s done. It’s over. Now we get an opportunity to move and progress and look forward to the future."
San Francisco officially begins its training camp Saturday with their first practice slated to start inside Levi's Stadium at 7 p.m. Davis, 31, is entering the last year of a five-year, $36.75 million contract extension he signed in 2010.