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OTAs Aren't Mandatory; I Excuse Vernon Davis From Not Going

Anthony Defeo

49ers tight end Vernon Davis came under a bit of fire for missing OTAs (organized team activities), but they're not mandatory, so who cares?

I'm a Steelers fan, but I'm also a fan of doing whatever I want to do with regards to my free time.

My boss expects me to be at work on certain days, but on days that I'm off, while I'm sure he wouldn't mind me making an appearance, I'm not required to be there, and there's nothing in it for me to be there (I'm salaried), so why should I be there?

Vernon Davis, the 49ers very talented tight end, has people wondering why he wasn't at his team's OTAs (organized team activities), an offseason practice that is supposedly "voluntary,"

However voluntary OTAs may be, they often seem to start a negative chain reaction among fans, coaches, media members and even teammates, none of whom never seem to grasp the concept of not doing something work-related that you're not required to do.

Truth be told, Davis's decision to "hold out" of the voluntary OTAs is due to a desire to receive a new contract with his team.

Of course that's the reason (isn't it always?), but even if Davis was perfectly happy with the money he's currently earning with San Francisco, and he just wanted to pull a Troy Polamalu and meditate in the mountains (or whatever his Steelers teammate Ike Taylor said, of No. 43's familiar absence), everyone should be super-cool with that.

If you're going to make an offseason team activity voluntary, don't get passively/aggressively angry when certain players don't show, and that's especially the case for head coaches.

If OTAs are so vital to "team building," make them mandatory, like the minicamps that are essentially the same thing and are taking place this week.

This might be hard to believe, but not every NFL player eats, sleeps and drinks football 365 days a year. Just like you and I with our jobs, a lot of them think of it as work--yes, even the ones who get paid seven figure salaries.

Until OTAs are mandatory, learn the definition of voluntary.

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Davis and Boone -- both seeking new contracts with two years remaining on their respective deals -- did not report for the start of mandatory minicamp Tuesday.


"I'm disappointed in that decision for them not to be here," Harbaugh said Tuesday, according to CSN Bay Area.

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I get what VD is doing and I'm ok with it. He signed a front-loaded contract, and feels that he out performed it, so he's using what leverage he has to try and get more money. It's really his only option if he wants to pursue this course of action.


He's a veteran, so missing OTAs, mandatory or not, is not that big a deal for a player of his caliber.

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