SANTA CLARA -- Former 49ers coach Mike Singletary urged Vernon Davis to maintain an open line of communication with general manager Trent Baalke in what's been an offseason contract dispute.
After not participating in the voluntary workouts, Davis skipped last week's mandatory minicamp, because "it's all about getting paid what you deserve," as he wrote in an SI.com column.
"I think one of the most important things for Vernon is to make sure that right now with all of the things that are out there -- the negative media, however it is -- the most important thing in any holdout is the communication," Singletary said Tuesday on NFL Network's Total Access.
"I don't care what happens, just don't let the communication break down between you and the organization. I think that's really the defining factor in any holdout."
Davis has two seasons remaining on his contract, as does right guard Alex Boone, who also boycotted last week's minicamp while seeking a revised contract. Davis, one of the league's highest paid tight ends, has spent much of the past month on a whirlwind marketing spree for his off-field business interests.
Singletary was at the flash point of Davis' career makeover, ordering the tight end to the locker room during a 2008 loss to the Seattle Seahawks that doubled as Singletary's debut game as interim coach.
While Singletary said Davis must keep in touch with the front office, the former coach believes the current coach, Jim Harbaugh, should support Davis.
"Harbaugh being there and knowing how important Vernon is to the offense, I'm sure that that would help if he were able to say or speak on Vernon's behalf," Singletary said.
Harbaugh expressed his disappointment last week in Davis' and Boone's decisions to skip minicamp, going so far as to say it wasn't the "49er way."
"Vernon has been a great part of that organization," Singletary said, "and right now it's just a matter of let's just keep the communication open, let's just keep an open forum here, and let's go forward and get it done somehow, some way."