He often dazzled in practice, displaying more big-play ability than incumbent starter Chris Cooley, many players told me. Davis was productive in 2009 (when Cooley missed all but seven games because of injury) and great for 12 games last season, when he emerged as the No. 1 target in the passing game.
If not for the suspension, the Redskins might have offered Davis a long-term, wallet-stuffing payday. Instead, they designated Davis as their franchise player, giving him a one-year contract of $5.5 million. Not bad, obviously, but that’s undoubtedly millions less than Davis would have received in a signing bonus.
In another bit of questionable decision-making, Davis has at times represented himself in a bizarre lawsuit that has become a source of amusement in the locker room. Players delight in reading aloud Davis’s comments in his defense, and “when they read it back to me, all the stuff that was said, it is kinda funny,” Davis acknowledges. After reflecting for a moment, Davis added, “Freddy the attorney at law.”
The Redskins need Davis to do his best work downfield, not in the courtroom. They signed free agent wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan to give Griffin more targets, but having a sure-handed tight end in the mid-range passing game is like a security blanket for an inexperienced quarterback.
Davis has stumbled so many times, though, it’s fair to ask: Will he finally remain upright? Sage inside linebacker London Fletcher, who has counseled Davis and Williams, believes so.
“I’m not making any guarantees, but I’ve think they’ve both grown up a lot,” said Fletcher, beginning his 15th season. “Some guys, for whatever reason, it takes them a little while to mature. I think they have now. And I think they’re going to do it the right way, not only for their teammates but for themselves.”
For the Redskins and their fans, that would definitely be something worth seeing.
For previous Jason Reid columns, visit washingtonpost.com/reid.