The Washington Redskins have always been expected to let Fred Davis go in free agency this year, and it would have been a huge shock for him to be retained by the team. If there was any unlikely chance of Davis sticking around in D.C., it has been washed down the drain totally. CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora reports that Davis faces a six-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, and I would be surprised if Davis avoids getting slapped with that lengthy suspension. He’s been in trouble with the league for substance abuse before, as he was suspended for four games earlier in his career.
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner will have a suspension on his hands when he enters free agency this offseason, but at least Browner is a valuable player. Davis has talent and once caught 59 passes for 796 yards in a season, but his rough 2013 season combined with his possible suspension will sour his free agent market even further.
Redskins rookie tight end Jordan Reed has emerged as a very talented pass-catcher and their team’s clear starting TE, so Davis has never been viewed as somebody the Redskins will keep. He was an afterthought in their offense with just seven receptions for 70 yards, and he was also in the team’s doghouse. Even with a new coaching staff, I can’t see a situation in which Davis stays, unless if Jay Gruden likes him and wants to employ a twin-TE set similar to the one he had in Cincinnati with Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert. But while Gresham and Eifert are about even in skill, it’s clear that the more versatile Reed is also more talented.
Davis is still worth signing on a low-risk, one-year deal for the veteran minimum, but even teams that could use a solid tight end like Davis will likely be lukewarm on him due to this potential suspension.