Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports



Anthony Davis, the former right tackle of the San Francisco 49ers, has been source of entertaining comments, regrettable tweets, and heated debate since he came into the league. As a player, he was a physical run blocker who liked visibly dominating his opponent and letting him know about it (sometimes even after the game on Twitter). He was also a pass blocker who ran hot and cold with his protection, displaying the feet size and power to stymie talent edge rushers, but who often gave up immediate edge pressure during the worst moments of big games (think: Cliff Avril). Even with his lapses, Davis was considered among the better right tackles in the league, a durable starter, and a tone-setter for the offense, with his aggression and competitive demeanor.

Then came the 2014 season, which began with Davis missing offseason practices while recovering from a late elective shoulder surgery, continued with him losing time with multiple injuries and offering some less-than-positive tweets about then-coach Jim Harbaugh and his treatment of Davis's apparently severe concussion, and ended with Davis sitting out the rest of the season with lingering concussion symptoms.

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When Davis elected to sit out the 2015 season to recover from his injuries, many fans were livid. I can only assume that the announcement was not met with enthusiasm within the 49ers offices. While Davis attempted to defend his decision by citing long-term health and his desire to return in 2016, he seemed to intentionally evade the point that the timing of his decision appeared extremely selfish and undoubtedly placed the team in a difficult position. By waiting until after the draft, Davis, intentionally or not, ensured that the team would not be able to fill his slot with a top free agent or draftee. That strengthened his odds of returning to a starting position in 2016, but greatly limited the performance of a line that was suddenly deficient in talent at an important position.

One could argue that he made a smart move for himself, doing as much as he could to secure his future role in the organization, but he did so at the expense of his teammates' success, his teammates' trust, and his quarterback's health.

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While he sat out the year, he had no problem calling out the best player on the 49ers' offense, left tackle Joe Staley, going as far as posting a gif of Staley being blown up by Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor and providing critical commentary. While Davis might have felt he was within his rights as a teammate to hold a peer accountable, he is missing two significant points. The first is that he was not a teammate last year. He left his team in a bad position in what can only be perceived as a selfish move, or at least a move made with selfish timing. Second, Staley had numerous opportunities to blast Davis in the media and never took a shot. The quick pressures, QB hits, and sacks given up by Davis to edge rushers (particularly Cliff Avril in big games) during pivotal moments killed offensive momentum, yet we never saw a 49er throw Davis under the bus for those. In fact, Staley was even kind enough to state that the team would welcome Davis back if he returned in shape and ready to go.

Now we see Davis posting that he won't be filing his reinstatement paperwork in time to join the team at the start of the offseason program, seemingly blaming his tardiness on how difficult 49ers GM Trent Baalke is to work with. We are again left to wonder about Davis's mindset and motivations. Is he physically unable to play due to continued complications from his concussions (some severe concussions do not clear up for over a year) and is frustrated by a lack of understanding from Baalke? Is he attempting to secure a trade away from the 49ers and frustrated that Trent won't comply? Is he hoping to secure a later reporting date and not receiving the treatment or patience he desires? Is he simply disinterested in returning at the moment, and he knows that 49ers fans are willing to blame Baalke for almost anything these days?

Whatever the case, his tendency to post inflammatory tweets then elect not to explain them has cost him the benefit of the doubt with many fans, some of whom have asserted that he may simply be too far out of shape to keep up with the program, and may be content to string the fans and 49ers along until he gets there. What do you think, Faithful? Vote in the polls and/or comments below.