On March 16, Washington Redskins Tight End Fred Davis signed his tender and became “The Franchise” Fred Davis. With great titles come great responsibilities.
For Davis, this is a second chance—one that comes with being more than just a player, but the company face. You’re just that important that you have to be locked down for safe keeping. While many will disagree, that’s what I think about that tag. However, I felt like this honor really should have been bestowed on London Fletcher, a player who knows how to handle the business of football and the business of life—and has proved it.
Fred Davis on the other hand, is unlikely to receive a multi-year extension before the July 16 deadline, according to Rich Tandler of Comcast SportsNet Washington. The reasons, writes Tandler is that, “He [Davis] is going to have to demonstrate that he can stay out of trouble before the Redskins are going to write him a big signing bonus check.”
How can you NOT agree? Second chances are far and few in the NFL and only a select number of people get them. Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, Randy Moss, Brett Favre are just a handful of names who have surpassed the second chance mark. These are people who, while great on the field, have failed in the eyesight of public opinion. For that, their careers have suffered in the end.
Fred Davis cannot allow himself to be one of those players who didn’t deserve what was given to him. However he is starting to play “that role”.
Fred Davis failed multiple drug tests for recreational drugs, believed to be marijuana. Under the settlement between the NFL and the union, the third positive test is being treated as a second offense, which carried a four-game suspension. The news, as reported by the Washington Post, comes before the Redskins’ 34-19 loss to the New York Jets at FedEx Field.
Davis provides an excuse for his drug use: Losing levels of maturity during the lockout. Davis said, “But still, I’ve learned. I know football’s what’s important now…It already happened now, and you can’t cry over spilled milk. The worst part of my day was losing those four games, and having to sit and not help my teammates…So, the worst is over, something I can learn from, and something that’s not going to come up again.”
Fast forward to present day. Here’s what I said when news broke of Davis getting the Franchise Tag:
“Davis had 796 yards receiving, 66 yards a game, and three touchdowns. Davis was second in receptions behind Jabar Gaffney, who had 68 for 947 yards. We need to keep this guy.”
The move to lock down Davis is one that revolves around support for “The Thriller” Robert Griffin III. The Redskins do not have time to bring in a Tight End alongside Chris Cooley that cannot take the Redskins to the next level. The receiving corps now is complete, and provides that depth so many people have criticized them for. In order to maintain the progressive storyline of the Redskins, Fred Davis needs to clean up his act off the field once and for all. However, as long as he allows his life to bring down his brand, no one will take Davis seriously, and will consider him worthy of the Franchise Tag. The NFL, for players, is a game of time. His body of work does not match Fred Davis, the person.
Recently as per reporting from The Washingtonian, 33-year-old Makini R. Chaka is alleging that Davis dumped juice and injured her lip in a nightclub incident in January of 2011. At the time, TMZ reported that Davis was named in the initial police report as a suspect and was accused of assaulting a woman, presumably Chaka. Davis later told NBC Washington that he wasn’t arrested and it was him who called the police.
This suit has dragged on for 18 months since the incident happened last year. Chaka, who reportedly describes herself as a “celebrity broker,” has accused Davis of impersonating Moss to keep her out of a nightclub. For his part, Davis is claiming that Chaka is extorting him.
In other words, it’s a circus—an embarrassment of taxpayer dollars and makes the franchise tender placed on him look like the Washington Redskins are back to making poor choices in desperation for a good season.
His franchise tender is worth $5.446 million in base salary. This is what we’re getting for it: A man who can be a contributor on the field, but a complete opposite off the field. Davis is entering a year where no one will have the time, or the money to deal with this type of embarrassment. The Redskins have built themselves into something credible, and have spent millions of dollars into creating a team worth watching in the NFC East.
It’s time for Davis to straighten up and fly right, or get out. The Washington Redskins deserve more than this, especially this year. It’s impossible to be a nobody in a “Somebody’s World”. What you do as a professional player will be noticed. If he doesn’t want that, it’s time for him to go. He’s only one good draft pick away from being second string and that’s the reality of pro football.