Commanders Decline LB Jamin Davis’ Fifth-Year Option

None of the teams to select a linebacker in the 2020 first round opted to exercise a fifth-year option; each member of that quartet joined another team in free agency last month. The Commanders are moving down a similar path with the ILB they chose in the 2021 first round.

Washington is declining Jamin Davis‘ fifth-year option, according to the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala. Chosen 19th overall in 2021, Davis carried a $14.48MM option for the 2025 season. With Davis not yet living up to his draft slot — and seeing how teams proceeded with 2020 Round 1 ILBs last year — it is unsurprising to see the Commanders punt on that fully guaranteed number.

[RELATED: 2025 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker]

None of the 2020 ILB class carried a Pro Bowl honor from 2020-22; that placed their option prices between $11.73MM and $12.72MM. This proved too much for the Cardinals (Isaiah Simmons), Chargers (Kenneth Murray), Ravens (Patrick Queen) and Seahawks (Jordyn Brooks). Each player moved on in free agency in March. With a new regime in place in Washington, Davis’ arrow is pointing in that direction ahead of what is now a contract year.

The Commanders signed Bobby Wagner and Frankie Luvu in March; the Wagner agreement, like several Washington pacts this offseason, brought a reunion with new HC Dan Quinn. Washington also signed Jeremy Chinn, a hybrid player who spent extensive time as a box defender with Carolina. These transactions leave Davis’ role uncertain, as the Kentucky product has not become a difference-maker since the Ron Rivera-led regime selected him 19th overall three years ago.

After struggling as a rookie, Davis received criticism from then-DC Jack Del Rio early in the ’22 season. He did play better on the whole over the past two years, and Pro Football Focus slotted the 25-year-old defender inside the top 40 at the position last year. Davis has totaled 17 tackles for loss and six sacks over the past two years combined. He also forced two fumbles and broke up four passes last season, before going down with a season-ending shoulder injury in December.

Davis underwent knee surgery last year as well, and the one-year SEC starter has run into trouble off the field. He was hit with a reckless driving charge in March 2022. While Davis appealed his conviction and avoided a 180-day sentence, Jhabvala adds he also drew a reckless driving charge (later reduced) three months before that. Additionally, Davis joins cornerback Benjamin St-Juste and former safety Deshazor Everett as defendants in a wrongful-death lawsuit stemming from the crash that killed Everett’s girlfriend. Washington cut the safety in March 2022, but the civil suit — brought on by the victim’s mother — alleges Davis, St-Juste and Everett were racing when Everett’s vehicle crashed.

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