anthony davis2

The 49ers have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. And when you have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL along with a promising young quarterback, keeping one asset in place to protect the other is a pretty serious priority.

So congrats, Anthony Davis. You are skilled at being both very large, and impressively mobile for a man with said girth, and now you’re getting paid.

The Niners right tackle reportedly agreed to a five-year contract extension earlier this morning, according to USA Today. Taken with the 11th overall pick in the 2010 draft, Davis still had two years left on his rookie contract. But since he’s the kind of guy who does savvy things, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke saw fit to secure his right tackle before he’s set to enter a contract year a season from now, and before his price escalates further.

Davis will now be playing his football in San Francisco for the next seven years, meaning a 23-year-old has been locked up for all of his prime seasons. The extension will pay him a reported $37.5 million, $17 million of which is guaranteed.

It really can’t be emphasized enough how crucial the offensive line is to San Francisco’s success, so I’ll do that some more. With Davis now retained, he forms an impressively strong nucleus alongside Alex Boone, Joe Staley, Jonathan Goodwin, and Mike Lupati. Together, they allowed 68 quarterback hits this past season.

There’s now great faith in Davis, though, and his expected growth. As a right tackle, he’s being paid just slightly less than some elite left tackles. For example, giants LT Will Beatty is playing under a contract that pays him $38.75 million over five years.

In addition to simple effectiveness, this is a position where youth and health especially pay. In three years, Davis hasn’t missed a start.