Friday, July 20, 2012

The Future of Fred Davis

Davis, above, lead the Redskins in receiving before being suspended last season. (Photo:
While the deadline to sign franchise tagged players to long term contracts passed a few days ago and the sports world erupted with news of Ray Rice and Matt Forte receiving contracts, there was one Redskin that didn't receive a contract: tight end Fred Davis.

Reports from the Washington Post stated that Fred Davis was not looking for a "team-friendly" deal. In other words, Davis wanted the maximum amount of money that he could receive. The Redskins, however, weren't looking to give Davis a "player-friendly" deal. Basically, neither side is willing to negotiate enough at this point.

Davis will be playing this season under a one-year franchise tag tender of $5.446 million. Since the reports talk about a player friendly deal versus a team friendly deal, it might not be an unreasonable assumption to state that Davis' number is close to that $5.4 million.

Not looking at the contract, the Redskins certainly need Fred Davis. With Chris Cooley on  his way out, Davis is a more than capable tight end to come in and fill the void. He is a big body that can block, run sharp routes, and can catch the ball. Davis also has a high football IQ. He can find the hole in the zone and will sit in it and wait for the throw.

Davis is also the only player left from the second round of the Redskins 2008 draft class. Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly are long gone. Davis one of just a few players left from that entire draft class.

Prior to Davis' suspension last season, he was the teams leading receiver with 59 receptions for 796 yards and three touchdowns. Davis was well on his way to his best season yet and 1,000+ yards receiving.

The number that strikes me the most is the fact that he accounted for 39 first downs. That means that Davis a chain moving and reliable tight end.

In four seasons with the Redskins, Davis has 131 receptions to go along with 1,648 yards and 12 touchdowns. He averages 12.6 yards per receptions and has accounted for 82 first downs. He has only turned the ball over once.

Unfortunately, stats don't matter that much when it comes to who stays and who goes on an NFL team. Since Fred Davis has been one of the most productive Redskins, he's not going to be the cheapest.

Since Davis is going to be making $5.4 million (rounded) this season, it isn't entirely crazy to think that he could be asking for that, or more, a year for his future contract. Since he did have off-field issues this past season, the Redskins may not be willing to fork over that much money until he proves that he has matured.

Another factor into how much he gets paid is the Redskins cap penalty. They may be trying to wait and see which players become available next season and they still have to sign Robert Griffin III and Josh LeRibeus to their contracts. Right now, money isn't exactly something that the Redskins can spend wherever.

Fred Davis is a key player for the Redskins and has the potential to become the best tight end in the NFL. The Redskins would be insane to not want Fred Davis.

It's a two-way street, however, because Fred Davis has to want to be with the Redskins so he will have to be willing to give up some cash when the negotiations start up.

It's not that the Redskins don't want Fred Davis, that I don't want Fred Davis a part of the team, or that Fred Davis isn't good enough to part of the team. It's about whether Fred Davis will be willing to negotiate with the Redskins into a deal that is friendly to both sides.

Davis is going to become a top NFL talent in the near future. He's going to be a pivotal part of Robert Griffin III's success this season.

Next season, however, remains to be seen. The Redskins should do whatever it takes to keep Fred Davis past this season. However, if the price isn't right...then the price isn't right.

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