Fred Davis

Patriots Release Fred Davis

The Patriots continue to make changes at the tight end spot, announcing today (via Twitter) that they’ve released Fred Davis, just over a month after signing him. Davis is the second notable tight end to be cut by New England in June, as the team also waived Tim Wright last week.

Davis, 29, sat out all of last season after the NFL suspended him indefinitely for substance-abuse violations. The league reinstated him earlier in the offseason. Prior to 2014, the former second-round pick spent six seasons in Washington and caught 162 passes and 13 touchdowns. His best year came in 2011, when he amassed 59 receptions and 796 yards.

Davis’ contract with the Patriots didn’t include any guaranteed salary, and his bonus money consisted of a modest workout bonus and unearned roster bonuses, so the move won’t have an impact on the club’s salary cap.

With Davis and Wright no longer in the mix, Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler, Michael Hoomanawanui, and sixth-round rookie A.J. Derby figure to handle the majority of the tight end load heading into training camp.

Free Agent Notes: Arrington, Conner, Davis

It’s not clear if the Browns or Falcons put in a waiver claim for D.J. Swearinger, but both clubs had interest in landing the former Texans safety before he was claimed by the Buccaneers yesterday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. One team that did put in a claim was the Jets, a source tells Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). None of those clubs could get to Swearinger, however, as Tampa Bay had the No. 1 waiver priority and used it.

While Swearinger didn’t make it to the open market, we have a few updates on players who are currently free agents, or who recently signed contracts with new teams:

  • As the Ravens explore the possibility of adding a cornerback, recently released ex-Patriot Kyle Arrington is “clearly” their top target, writes Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. Jordan Raanan of NJ.com (Twitter link) agrees that the Ravens are in the mix for Arrington, adding that the Panthers are another team to watch.
  • Having already signed Jerome Felton this offseason, the Bills shouldn’t necessarily be in the market for another fullback, but the team is hosting John Conner for a visit today, according to a report from Draft Diamonds. Conner has had multiple stints with the Jets under Rex Ryan, who is fond of his blocking ability and would consider adding “The Terminator” to the roster as a complement to Felton.
  • Tight end Fred Davis, who was a free agent – and serving a suspension – for over a year before signing with the Patriots this week, received a $20K workout bonus and $60K in per-game roster bonuses on his one-year, minimum salary deal, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. Davis’ contract doesn’t include any guaranteed money.
  • As NFL communications rep Randall Liu notes (on Twitter), unrestricted free agents who didn’t receive contract tenders from their former clubs are now free to sign with new teams without having an impact on that team’s compensatory draft pick formula. The NFL moved up this cutoff date from June 1 to May 12 this year, allowing unsigned players a better opportunity to find new homes earlier in the spring.

Patriots, Fred Davis Agree To Deal

The Patriots and free agent tight end Fred Davis have agreed to a one-year contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). Financial terms of the deal are not yet available.

Davis, 29, sat out all of last season after the NFL suspended him indefinitely for substance-abuse violations. The league reinstated him last week. Prior to 2014, he spent six seasons in Washington and caught 162 passes and 13 touchdowns. His best output came in 2011, when he amassed 59 receptions and 796 yards.

As a member of the Patriots, Davis will join a crowded tight end group that includes superstar Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler, Tim WrightMichael Hoomanawanui, and sixth-round rookie A.J. Derby.

Fred Davis Reinstated By NFL

Former Washington tight end Fred Davis has been reinstated by the NFL, more than a year after he was suspended indefinitely by the league for substance abuse violations, according to Pro Football Talk (Twitter link). Davis is now free to sign with any team and play in the 2015 season.

Davis, a former second-round pick, had some productive seasons in Washington, including a 2011 campaign that saw him set career highs in catches (59) and receiving yards (796). However, injuries and off-field issues – including legal run-ins – derailed his career. The 29-year-old hasn’t seen the field for 2013, a season in which he grabbed just seven balls for 70 yards.

With a handful of teams around the NFL in need of a tight end, there may be a club that decides to take a flier on Davis. However, after the veteran tight end spent a year away from the game, I have my doubts that he’ll ascend a depth chart and become a primary weapon for an NFL offense anytime soon.

Extra Points: Giants, Davis, Bucs, Clabo

Giants linebackers coach Jim Herrmann believes the team may have stumbled on a true gem with fifth-round pick Devon Kennard, writes Howie Kussay of the New York Post. “I liked him on film, obviously our college scouting liked him on film,” Herrmann said. “He played at USC and he played under four different coordinators, and played four different positions, so I think he kind of got lost in the college shuffle a little bit there.” More from around the NFL..

  • Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters, including Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram (on Twitter), that a lot of the team’s “dramatic” offseason decisions freed up money that the club can use to hammer out extensions with Tyron Smith and Dez Bryant. It’s likely that Jones is referring to the situation with Kyle Orton that ended with his release earlier this month
  • According to a report from WUSA 9, former Redskins tight end Fred Davis is wanted by D.C. police for a domestic violence incident. It’s just the latest in a string of troubles for the former NFL notable who was suspended indefinitely for substance abuse and charged with a DUI over the winter.
  • Bucs GM Jason Licht says he will keep five running backs on the roster if they can help win games, tweets Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Licht added that the team is excited about Bobby Rainey. There has been speculation that the 26-year-old, who was picked up off waivers in October of last year, was on the bubble heading into the season.
  • After Tyson Clabo was signed by the Texans, the best available right tackles in the NFL are David Stewart, Eric Winston, Tony Pashos, Jonathan Scott, Dennis Roland, and Jeremy Trueblood, opines Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • Bears GM Phil Emery was highly complimentary of new backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). “That’s as good of a quarterback workout we’ve seen since I’ve been here,” the GM said of the former Notre Dame QB’s June tryout.
  • The Bears put veteran tight end Travis Beckum and journeyman offensive lineman Thomas Austin through tryouts Wednesday, a source told Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Beckum, 27, has been looking to find a home in the league after suffering a torn ACL in the Giants in their Super Bowl XLVI victory following the 2011 season. Austin has played eight games in the NFL with one start, spending time with the Colts last season. Unfortunately for both men, Biggs gets the sense that it’s unlikely either will get contract offers from Chicago.
  • Scott Brown of ESPN.com (on Twitter) is glad to see center Fernando Velasco catch on with the Panthers after the way he stepped up for the Steelers last season in the absence of Maurkice Pouncey. The 29-year-old was graded as Pittsburgh’s fourth-best lineman by Pro Football Focus (subscription required) in 2013.
  • The deal for new Lions wide receiver Reese Wiggins is a minimum salary deal for three years with nothing guaranteed and no bonuses, according to Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

Fred Davis Arrested For DUI

THURSDAY, 9:54pm: Davis was pulled over and charged with driving under the influence, tweets Mike Jones of The Washington Post. Jones added that the arrest took place at 3:45pm EST in Tysons Corner, Virgina.

WEDNESDAY, 5:47pm: Free agent Fred Davis has been suspended indefinitely for substance abuse, according to Dan Hanzus of NFL.com. This marks the second time the Redskins tight end has been hit with a drug-related suspension. He also missed the final four games of the 2011 season.

Davis issued a statement explaining that he unknowingly ingested a banned substance in supplement he took “a couple of months ago.” However, as Zac Boyer of The Washington Times (via Twitter) points out, that explanation doesn’t quite add up. The league says that the suspension is a result of substance abuse and PEDs would fall under a different category.

The 28-year-old is coming off a season in which he fell behind Jordan Reed on the depth chart and landed in coach Mike Shanahan‘s doghouse. After being hit with the franchise tag for the 2012 season, Davis’ follow-up saw him finish with just seven catches for 70 yards and one touchdown and finish out the year on the inactive list. While he possesses serious skills as a pass-catching tight end, his baggage will undoubtedly hurt him as he tries to land his next deal.

Redskins Notes: Free Agents, Polumbus, Davis

The Redskins’ plan to be active in free agency has already been chronicled, but don’t expect them to add any big name free agents, writes Rich Tandler of RealRedskins.com. While the team should have close to $30MM in cap space, the roster has many holes that need to be filled. If the Redskins re-sign Brian Orakpo, as most pundits and fans think they will, the organization will most likely not have the resources to attract another player on the level of Broncos receiver Eric Decker or Bills safety Jairus Byrd. Other notes on the Redskins:

  • We already looked at a few players who were likely to be released earlier today, but Tandler wrote that he also believes Will Montgomery, Kedric Golston, and Brandon Meriweather could find themselves looking for a new team this offseason. All three players are on the wrong side of 30 years old, and if a younger, cheaper option were to present itself, the Redskins could go in that direction.
  • Tyler Polumbus will receive a small bump in salary, from $1MM to $1.5MM, thanks to an escalator in his contract, according to Tandler, who cites Brian McIntyre (via Twitter). However, Tandler writes that this could be bittersweet news as the increase in salary also raises Polumbus’ chances of being released in favor of a cheaper draft pick.
  • While it was reported that free agent tight end Fred Davis would receive a six-game suspension in 2014 for a failed drug test, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk hears from a source that that report isn’t “technically accurate.” According to Florio, it’s unclear exactly how the report is inaccurate. The ban could end up being longer or shorter than six games, but the idea that the suspension will be lifted entirely is unlikely. The uncertainty only makes Davis’ impending free agency more of a question mark this offseason.

NFC East Notes: Davis, Coughlin, Eagles

Earlier today, we heard that the Redskins would be active in free agency, both in retaining their own players and pursuing other options. However, it sounds like one of Washington’s free agents, tight end Fred Davis, may see his stock dip precipitously. Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com hears from a source that Davis, who has a history of failed drug tests, will face a six-game suspension (Twitter link).

Here’s more from around the NFC East:

  • The oldest coach in the NFL, 67-year-old Tom Coughlin, still feels as if he could coach multiple years beyond 2014, as he tells Ian O’Connor of ESPN Radio (link via ESPNNewYork.com). Giants co-owner John Mara recently told ESPN Radio that he intended to talk to Coughlin about a contract extension soon. “He’s going to be our coach here next year,” Mara said. “And hopefully for longer than that, but we haven’t sat down to even talk about that yet.”
  • In a pair of pieces for PhillyMag.com, Sheil Kapadia takes a look at a number of defensive prospects at the Senior Bowl that could interest the Eagles.
  • Tim McManus of PhillyMag.com wonders if Redskins free-agent-to-be Brian Orakpo might be a fit for the Eagles, eventually concluding that Philadelphia may not want to spend big money on a single player.