A person familiar with the team’s planning had said as the deadline neared that the Redskins remained interested in trading Davis. But no deal was worked out and, unless the team reverses course and releases Davis, the Redskins now must try to figure out if there still is a role for the sixth-year NFL veteran to play for them this season.
It was not clear how close the Redskins came to trading Davis or what, if anything, they were offered for him. Some within the league speculated that other teams potentially interested in Davis decided to simply wait and see if he would be available for nothing if the Redskins release him. Davis has only three catches this season and has been on the Redskins’ inactive list for each of their past two games even while being apparently healthy enough to play.
Rookie Jordan Reed has supplanted Davis as the Redskins’ main pass-catching threat at tight end. Reed has totaled 17 catches for 224 yards in the Redskins’ last two games. He has 34 catches on the season, the second-best total on the team behind wide receiver Pierre Garcon’s 47.
The Redskins also have tight ends Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul on their roster, raising the possibility that Davis could remain expendable. But if Reed gets hurt, Davis perhaps remains the team’s next-best threat as a pass-catcher at tight end.
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said last week that he was leaving open the possibility of Davis being productive for the team at some point this season.
“I really expect there to come a time when Fred needs to help us,” Shanahan said then. “But it’s a week-to-week decision going into that game. We always decide based on personnel, coverages, what packages we need to use, what tight ends we want in certain situations. We felt better with Logan and Jordan with a lot of stuff we were doing. Niles is a really good special teams player for us who can also help us on offense. If it was my choice, I would dress four tight ends every week. But it’s not just about the offense. You’ve got special teams. You’ve got defense. It’s a whole team and it’s tough to get four tight ends up. When we’re told we can only get three, it’s really on who we depend on for what we need to and who we can do better with.”
Davis re-signed with the Redskins in the offseason as a free agent after having his 2012 season cut short by a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. He had 24 catches for 325 yards in seven games last season before getting hurt. He had 59 catches for 796 yards in 12 games in the 2011 season, when he was suspended for the final four games for a violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy.
It appears that Davis’s tenure with the team is drawing to a close, at the end of this season at the latest. He said in a radio interview last week that he hadn’t sought a trade and he would give the team his best effort for as long as he remained with the Redskins.
“At the end of the day, I look at it as I’m a Redskin right now until I hear differently,” Davis told 106.7 The Fan last week. “I want to help my team any way I can until then . . . If I get traded, something happens, that’s what happens. But other than that, right now I’ve just got to do the job, still got to be a pro. At the end of the day, I don’t want to leave a bad taste in my mouth with any of the coaches or anything like that.”
The lone trade league-wide Tuesday was the Philadelphia Eagles sending defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga and a sixth-round draft choice to the New England Patriots for a fifth-round pick. So despite a fair amount of buildup and plenty of speculation about some significant players being available, next to nothing materialized.
The Redskins did make a roster move, announcing that they’d released safety Jordan Pugh. He’d been re-signed last week when fellow safety Brandon Meriweather was suspended. Pugh had an interception against Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning during the Redskins’ loss Sunday at Denver. But that wasn’t enough for him to keep a roster spot with Meriweather back this week from his suspension and Davis still on the team.