Davis was a first-round pick of the Lions in 2017. He was an immediate starter in Detroit, reaching the 100-tackle mark in his second season. Things changed dramatically during the final season of his rookie contract, however, as he saw his playing time diminish considerably.
With the Lions having declined Davis’ fifth-year option, the 27-year-old admitted to considering retirement before ultimately signing with the Jets. His one-year stay in New York was limited to just nine games, and resulted in only 25 tackles. Not surprisingly, then, he found himself back on the free agent market this spring.
That led to a reunion in Detroit for the Florida alum, allowing him to join a relatively unproven LB corps. He likely would have been in line for at least a depth role in the middle of the team’s defense, one which is expected to take a significant step forward in 2022. Instead, the Lions will move forward with the likes of Alex Anzalone, Josh Woods, Derrick Barnes and Chris Board as inside ‘backers.
Back on the open market, Davis will now join veterans such as Joe Schobert and Danny Trevathan looking for new NFL homes. He will likely be facing another one-year deal, similar to last season, though he will surely be unable to match the $5.5MM value of his Jets deal from 2021.