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The Rundown: July 23, 2014

Vernon Davis Ends Holdout, Reports to Training Camp

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis reported to training camp today. Will ending his holdout help his case for a new contract?

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis reported to training camp today. Will ending his holdout help his case for a new contract?

In what was an important move for both the eight-year veteran TE and the San Francisco 49ers, Vernon Davis reported to training camp today.

His appearance effectively ended a five-week holdout that saw him miss all of mandatory minicamp in June. But with the organization not willing to budge on their stance that they would not negotiate on his current contract – a five year agreement signed in 2010 that is paying him $37 million ($23 million guaranteed) – the 30-year-old pass-catcher decided not to call the organization’s supposed bluff.

While the outstanding talent still believes he is performing better than his current contract is paying him, he probably also realized that being fined exorbitant amounts of money – $30,000 a day, to be exact – for missing training camp was counterproductive to his ultimate cause: making money with the team.

He probably also realized that the only way he could get a shiny, new contract would have to be to work hard and continue to outplay his current deal. Should he show no signs of slowing down, despite being at the age of 32 by then, he could maximize the rest of his career by staying with a 49ers club that values its veterans and will likely not find another talent at the position.

While I stood by his unpopular decision when he first announced he would be holding out for a new contract, I can also understand his decision to come back. It could always come back to bite him in the end, but I think he took a good look at the organizational situation, and realized that:

1) they were in no position to meet his demands right now; and

2) he wasn’t in a position of power to make such demands.

At the very least, he’s not backing down on his position for a new deal, and playing nice may be his only option right now.

Don’t get me wrong – the 49ers fan in me is happy he’s in camp. But the more objective, principled man in me laments that his holdout failed, especially since he’s at a time in his career where his value may only go down.

But, like Davis said, no matter what happens, he can lean on this creed:

“At least I tried.”

World Cup Star James Rodriguez signs with Real Madrid

In what seems to be the continuing arms race between two of the most well-known football clubs in the world, Real Madrid CF nabbed one of the biggest stars in this year’s World Cup.



James Rodriguez, the Colombian darling of the global futbol competition earlier this month, reached a six-year deal with Real Madrid yesterday. The Spanish club reportedly paid Rodriguez’s former club, Monaco, an eye-popping transfer fee of $108 million.

In return, Real Madrid gets the 2014 FIFA World Cup Golden Boot winner, and an attractive 20-year-old talent that will likely bring more eyes to the already-successful club, winners of the Champions League in 2014. He will join a club already star-studded with names like Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

Most likely, the idea of adding another striker to the club will be to counter FC Barcelona’s latest moves, adding infamous Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez earlier this year, and Brazilian star Neymar in 2013. However, there have already been those who criticize the move. After all, why pay that much for a guy who just broke out of this year’s World Cup?

Nick Schwartz of USA Today Sports points to the business end of Real Madrid’s popularity – put mildly, it’s all about the brand:

It’s important to remember that Real Madrid isn’t just a soccer team, but also a global brand. James Rodriguez is the hottest name in soccer, and he’s the total package. He’s a young, handsome star that could become the next global face of soccer like David Beckham or Cristiano Ronaldo. In terms of on-field production, Rodriguez probably won’t make that much of a difference, especially in his first year — but some transfers aren’t strictly about wins and losses.

True. But he can't HURT the win-loss column, can he?

True. But he can’t HURT the win-loss column, can he?

At worst, it’s overpaying an average dude on the pitch to put more butts in seats, and to keep the brand fresh for years to come. At best, it’s adding a standout player that will help keep the Champions League title with Real Madrid for years to come. Futbol fans will wait and see what this move will ultimately be.

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