The Washington Post

Bills join Redskins in pursuit of Fred Davis [updated]

Fred Davis makes a catch against the Bengals (Ricky A. Carioti/The Washington Post)

Free agent tight end Fred Davis is drawing interest from the Buffalo Bills, according to a person familiar with the situation.

It’s not clear which team is the front-runner at this point to sign Davis, that person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the free-agent pursuit of Davis publicly.

The Redskins have been trying to re-sign Davis, who has spent his first five NFL seasons with the team, but have been dealing with a tight salary-cap situation and so far have been unable to complete a deal with him. The Redskins met with Davis’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, at the annual league meeting in Phoenix that ended last week, without a resolution to the negotiations.

The Cleveland Browns at one time appeared to be the Redskins’ main competition for Davis. But now it is no longer clear if the Browns are in the running. ESPN, which first reported the Bills’ interest in Davis, reported that he met with Bills officials over the weekend in Washington and is scheduled to visit Buffalo on Wednesday. The New York Jets also have interest in Davis, according to the ESPN report.

A Bills spokesman confirmed the meeting between team officials and Davis over the weekend but declined to confirm Wednesday’s reported visit.

Davis had 24 catches for 325 yards in seven games this past season before having his season ended by a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. The Redskins kept him off the unrestricted free agent market last offseason by using their franchise-player tag on him. He missed the final four games of the 2011 season while serving a suspension by the NFL for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.

He has 155 catches for 1,973 yards and 12 touchdowns in his five NFL seasons.

The Redskins already have re-signed tight end Logan Paulsen, who took over as the team’s starter at the position after Davis’s injury this past season. The Redskins signed Paulsen, who had been eligible for restricted free agency this offseason, to a three-year deal.

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.



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Mark Maske · March 22, 2013