Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis seemed to be the NFL prototype for the position. Davis has the size and ability to get downfield, make tough catches, and make big plays after the catch. Unfortunately, his six year career with Washington has been littered with injury and two suspensions for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Davis’ latest suspension comes with an indefinite NFL ban, which doesn’t help his impending free agency status.
Davis fell out of favor with the Redskins long ago. Redskins’ tight end Jordan Reed proved to be a valuable option at tight end. He recorded 45 receptions and three touchdowns in 2013 before a sustaining a concussion Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles, effectively ending his season. Nevertheless, Reed is at least five years younger than Davis, which reflects Reed’s upside at tight end, which reaffirms Washington’s decision to make Reed the undisputed starter at tight end over the more established Davis.
Redskins fans with good memories remember that Davis suffered an Achilles injury that ended his 2012 season. Reserve tight ends Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen shared playing time in Davis’ absence. While Paul and Paulsen aren’t spectacular receiving tight ends, their run blocking was efficient enough to contribute to the Redskins’ top ranked running game. Washington embarked on a season-ending seven game winning streak that propelled them into the playoffs, accomplished without Davis being on the field.
Those still not convinced that Davis’ tenure as a Redskin could be in jeopardy, consider this — on Feb. 20, Davis was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. That could be overlooked if Davis’ skill set at tight end made him one of the NFL’s best at the position. Reed is firmly established as the Redskins’ tight end of the future. Paulsen has proven to be a capable backup to Reed, thanks to his efficient run blocking. Paul also provides versatility as a third tight end because he also returns kickoffs. Washington would be best served to carry only three tight ends, which would make Davis the odd man out.
In any event, I hope Davis can get his life together, accept the consequences for his actions, and resume his NFL career.