Report: TE Fred Davis will receive Franchise Tag

Via Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network (as mentioned), by way of Rich Tandler over at CSNWashington.com and the “Real Redskins” blog:

Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reported last night that the Redskins will put the franchise tag on Fred Davis prior to the start of free agency next month.

The tight end was having a breakout season in his fourth year in the league when he was suspended for the last four games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Another violation of the policy could lead to a suspension for an entire year.

The tag might be the best way to give Davis a trial year to see if he can steer clear of trouble before giving him a long-term deal. Although the salary under the franchise tag is fully guaranteed even if a player is suspended, the risk is relatively small as it will be about $5.5 million.

If Davis does demonstrate that he is a good risk, the Redskins could work out a long-term deal with him sometime prior to the start of training camp. Or, they could wait and work out a deal a year from now. Under the rules, the Redskins could tag Davis again in 2013 but not after that.

Should the Redskins use the franchise tag on Davis, they could not use it on LaRon Landry. The safety, once considered one of the franchise cornerstones, will also be a free agent but his future is clouded by injury. He has decided to put off a decision to have surgery to repair an Achilles injury that has cost him 15 games over the past two seasons.

Two quick thoughts:

1. Redskins fans were less than pleased with Davis’ suspension, especially the fact that it was due to him recreationally using a drug that’s known to impair your thinking, physical ability, and general motivation. But the fact remains: if/when Fred Davis is healthy and motivated (and not high), he is a top 10 tight end this league. Even after missing 1/4th of 2011, he still finished 8th in the NFL in receiving yards among tight ends.

2. That last paragraph is really interesting, in regards to LaRon Landry. According to “people who know people who know well-connected people,” there’s been a lot of grumbling among the Redskins brass at the fact that Landry chose not to have surgery — for the 2nd consecutive year — on his injured Achilles tendon, which nagged him through all of the 2011 season.

The prevailing thought has been that the Redskins will try to sign Landry to a reduced, one-year, incentive-laden contract, to really gauge whether he has anything left. But, if there’s no way to protect him from a team willing to throw money at him, with the hopes of getting a guy who was well on his way to an All Pro campaign in 2010 (before his Achilles injury).

If there is a team willing to do that, it really seems like the Redskins will not match that offer, or work harder than necessary to convince Landry to stay.


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One Response to “Report: TE Fred Davis will receive Franchise Tag”

  1. 007 says:

    I really can’t see DAVIS or WILLIAMS with this team long-term. And I agree with those people within the organization who are upset by LANDREY’s decision. We’ll have to alter both FA and draft plans to ultimately reflect at least DAVIS’ and LANDREY’s moving on.

    In my mock draft, I had the ‘SKINS taking either FLYNN or MANNING [no picks given] in FA, then moving down and drafting DWAYNE ALLEN with the late first round pick to replace DAVIS. A third rounder on SS WINSTON GUY Jr. from Kentucky and franchising LANDREY instead for a look-see year.

    Of copurse, at this time of the year, everything’s flexible. Maybe ALLEN can talk LANDREY into a one-year incentive-laden deal. Otherwise, we’re franchising an injury-prone player, not something a well run franchise wants to do. DAVIS may become the franchise guy by default..