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Posted at 12:54 PM ET, 03/02/2012

Redskins use franchise tag on TE Fred Davis [updated]

The Washington Redskins used their franchise tag on tight end Fred Davis Friday according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Davis was set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13, but Washington prevented that by using the franchise tag on the four-year veteran.

Tight end Fred Davis (83) is upended by New York Jets free safety Eric Smith (33) after a five yard catch in the fourth quarter Dec. 4 ( Photo by Toni L. Sandys/Washington Post)
The tag gives the Redskins the right to keep Davis by matching any offer from another team. If it is the exclusive franchise tag, he will not be able to negotiate with other teams. If it is the non-exclusive tag, which is far more common, the Redskins would receive two first-round picks from his new team if they allowed him to leave.

Safety LaRon Landry was another player thought to be a candidate for the franchise tag.

Davis is coming off a career year in which he recorded 59 catches for 796 yards and three touchdowns in 12 games. He was suspended for the final four games of the year for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

But Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said in January that he saw a change in Davis and still had confidence in him as a player and a person.

“Fred made a mistake,” Shanahan said after meeting with Davis at the end of the season. “We sat down and talked about his mistake. I do feel very good about Fred as a person. I like the way he worked, I like his attitude. I like his development over the last year-and-a-half since I’ve been here. I think he’s had a complete change in the way he handles himself off the field, to preparing himself to be a consummate pro, to working out, and hopefully the mistake won’t happen that he made this year.”

Davis is expected to receive a guaranteed contract of a little more than $5 million. The final number has not been determined by the NFL but could be distributed – along with this year’s salary cap figure -- to teams later today.

Davis’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus has said publicly he will continue to work to negotiate a multi-year contract for any of his clients who receive franchise tags.

Staff Writer Mark Maske also contributed to this report.

By  |  12:54 PM ET, 03/02/2012

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