Jamin Davis

Commanders LB Jamin Davis To Get Edge Reps

Jamin Davis hasn’t necessarily lived up to his first-round billing in Washington, putting his future with the organization in doubt. Just this offseason, the Commanders declined the linebacker’s fifth-year option while also bringing in veterans Bobby Wagner and Frankie Luvu to start on Dan Quinn‘s new defense.

Without a clear path to playing time, the impending free agent may get a look at a different position. Quinn told reporters this week that the Commanders would give Davis a chance on the edge in 2024.

“[Y]ou’ll see him working some with the defensive line, you’ll see him working with [coach] Ryan Kerrigan on the side, and we’re adding parts to his game that maybe we didn’t use and we’re certainly trying to explore that,” Quinn told reporters (via NFL.com’s Kevin Patra). “And so, if that’s something that he can add value for himself and for the team, then we’ll dig in, and that’ll take a while as well. That’s not something that’s in one practice or in one week to say, ‘Okay, it’s there.’ Let’s take the time and work through it. I’ve been very impressed by his work ethic.”

Davis struggled with an inconsistent role as a rookie in 2021. While the Kentucky product managed to top 100 tackles during his sophomore campaign, Pro Football Focus still only graded him as a below-average linebacker. The 25-year-old was having his strongest NFL season in 2023 before he missed the final four games with a shoulder injury. In 13 appearances, Davis collected 89 tackles, three sacks, and two forced fumbles while grading as the 37th-best LB.

That performance still wasn’t enough for Washington’s new regime to commit to the player beyond the 2024 campaign. Now, Davis will be entering a crucial season, but fortunately for the player, it sounds like the organization is still committed to squeezing the most out of the former first rounder.

While Davis would be limited to a backup role at linebacker, he could see some opportunities on the edge in 2024. The team moved on from Chase Young and Montez Sweat last year before adding the likes of Dorance Armstrong, Dante Fowler, and Clelin Ferrell. Among that grouping, only Ferrell has seen a starting role over the past few years, so there could be a path to Davis carving out a role on the edge.

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.

2025 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker

NFL teams have until May 2 to officially pick up fifth-year options on 2021 first-rounders. The 2020 CBA revamped the option structure and made them fully guaranteed, rather than guaranteed for injury only. Meanwhile, fifth-year option salaries are now determined by a blend of the player’s position, initial draft placement and performance- and usage-based benchmarks:

  • Two-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternates) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag
  • One-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag
  • Players who achieve any of the following will receive the average of the third-20th-highest salaries at their position:
    • At least a 75% snap rate in two of their first three seasons
    • A 75% snap average across all three seasons
    • At least 50% in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will receive the average of the third-25th top salaries at their position

With the deadline looming, we will use the space below to track all the option decisions from around the league:

  1. QB Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars ($25.66MM): Exercised
  2. QB Zach Wilson, Broncos* ($22.41MM): Declined
  3. QB Trey Lance, Cowboys** ($22.41MM): Declined
  4. TE Kyle Pitts, Falcons ($10.88MM): Exercised
  5. WR Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals ($21.82MM): Exercised
  6. WR Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins ($15.59MM): Exercised
  7. T Penei Sewell, Lions ($19MM): Extended through 2029
  8. CB Jaycee Horn, Panthers ($12.47MM): Exercised
  9. CB Patrick Surtain, Broncos ($19.82MM): Exercised
  10. WR DeVonta Smith, Eagles ($15.59MM): Extended through 2028
  11. QB Justin Fields, Steelers*** ($25.66MM): Declined
  12. DE Micah Parsons, Cowboys ($21.32MM): Exercised
  13. T Rashawn Slater, Chargers ($19MM): Exercised
  14. OL Alijah Vera-Tucker, Jets ($13.31MM): Exercised
  15. QB Mac Jones, Jaguars**** ($25.66MM): Declined
  16. LB Zaven Collins, Cardinals ($13.25MM): Declined
  17. T Alex Leatherwood, Raiders: N/A
  18. LB Jaelan Phillips, Dolphins ($13.3MM): Exercised
  19. LB Jamin Davis, Commanders ($14.48MM): Declined
  20. WR Kadarius Toney, Chiefs***** ($14.35MM): Declined
  21. DE Kwity Paye, Colts ($13.4MM): Exercised
  22. CB Caleb Farley, Titans ($12.47MM): Declined
  23. T Christian Darrisaw, Vikings ($16MM): Exercised
  24. RB Najee Harris, Steelers ($6.79MM): Declined
  25. RB Travis Etienne, Jaguars ($6.14MM): Exercised
  26. CB Greg Newsome, Browns ($13.38MM): To be exercised
  27. WR Rashod Bateman, Ravens ($14.35MM): N/A; extended through 2026
  28. DE Payton Turner, Saints ($13.39MM): Declined
  29. CB Eric Stokes, Packers ($12.47MM): Declined
  30. DE Greg Rousseau, Bills ($13.39MM): Exercised
  31. LB Odafe Oweh, Ravens ($13.25MM): Exercised
  32. LB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Buccaneers ($13.25MM): Declined

* = Jets traded Wilson on April 22, 2024
** = 49ers traded Lance on August 25, 2023
*** = Bears traded Fields on March 16, 2024
**** = Patriots traded Jones on March 10, 2024
***** = Giants traded Toney on October 27, 2022

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/13/23

Today’s minor moves from around the NFL:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Commanders

Agnew has missed the four games required to return from injured reserve, and though he’s not been activated yet, the Jaguars took the first step towards that outcome today in returning him to practice. It was shoulder and rib injuries that led to the return specialist’s placement on IR. During his absence the team had turned to rookie sixth-round receiver Parker Washington to return punts and veteran backup running back D’Ernest Johnson to return kickoffs. Jacksonville still has a few days to determine whether or not they’ll activate him right away for this weekend. If not, the team will have 21 days to activate him before his practice window closes and Agnew is reverted to season-ending IR.

Commanders LB Jamin Davis Set For Season-Ending Surgery

A regular starter since the midpoint of his rookie season, Jamin Davis will not play his third NFL campaign to the end. The Commanders linebacker will undergo surgery that will shut him down early, according to the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala.

Davis sustained a shoulder injury in Washington’s Week 13 loss to Miami. The former No. 19 overall pick had missed just one game this season and had only been sidelined for two during his first two seasons. With the Commanders all but certain to change coaching staffs in 2024, Davis will be tasked with learning a new scheme once he recovers.

After struggling during his rookie season, Davis has fared better over the past two. He played a key role in Jack Del Rio‘s defense ranking in the top 10 last year. Pro Football Focus slotted Davis just outside the top 40 in 2022 and has him in that range once again this year. Davis posted a 104-tackle, three-sack season last year and was on track to replicate that; the off-ball linebacker will wrap this season with 89 stops and three sacks. Davis added two forced fumbles this season.

One season remains on Davis’ fully guaranteed rookie contract, but it will likely be a new regime’s responsibility to pick up his fifth-year option by May. Based on how teams proceeded with off-ball ‘backers from the 2020 first round, it should be considered unlikely Davis’ is exercised. Davis will meet the playing-time qualifications to land on the third tier within the option hierarchy. That is slated to produce a number near $13MM, according to OverTheCap. The Cardinals, Chargers, Seahawks and Ravens (Isaiah Simmons, Kenneth Murray, Jordyn Brooks, Patrick Queen) each declined ILB fifth-year options in 2023.

This will point to Davis entering a contract year in 2024. Washington let Cole Holcomb walk this year and replaced him with ex-Seahawk Cody Barton. David Mayo, former fifth-rounder Khaleke Hudson and ex-Cowboy Jabril Cox are in place as depth pieces behind the Barton-Davis duo. Mayo is likely to take over as Davis’ first-string replacement, per Jhabvala.

Latest On Commanders LB Depth

Entering mandatory minicamp, there were some questions surrounding the Commanders’ depth at linebacker. However, the team’s answer at the position may already be on the roster. As ESPN’s John Keim writes, the Commanders’ apparent need for a LB may not be as urgent considering the emergence of Khaleke Hudson.

Hudson, a 2020 fifth-round pick, has seen time in 41 games through his first three seasons in the NFL. However, he only has four starts while playing about 85 percent of his total snaps on special teams. In total, the Michigan product has 34 tackles, two tackles for loss, and three QB hits. The defender was cut by Washington last August before catching on with the practice squad. After appearing in 13 games last season, he was signed to a one-year extension back in March.

Jamin Davis is still expected to fill in at the WLB spot, but he was sidelined during minicamp while recovering from offseason knee injury. On the other side, free agent addition Cody Barton was slated to play the MLB role, but he was playing alongside the backups while he learned the defense.

As a result, Hudson saw an increased role during minicamp, and per Keim, the linebacker’s performance impressed coaches. Even if the 25-year-old doesn’t end up starting at either of Washington’s two linebacker spots, it seems all but certain that he’ll still see an increased role on defense in 2023. Plus, as Keim notes, his development may reduce the team’s need for depth at the position. The Commanders are also rostering the likes of David Mayo, De’Jon Harris, and Milo Eifler at the position.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Davis, Giants

Once again positioned as a Super Bowl frontrunner, the Eagles did lose both their starting safeties (Marcus Epps, C.J. Gardner-Johnson) and three-down linebackers (T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White) in free agency. The team has retooled at those spots, placing outside additions (Terrell Edmunds, Nicholas Morrow, third-rounder Sydney Brown) and holdovers (Reed Blankenship, Nakobe Dean) in the starter picture. Dean, a former Georgia standout who unexpectedly dropped into the 2022 third round, will be expected to start, Tim McManus of ESPN.com notes, adding Edmunds and Blankenship are the early expected starters at safety. But more help will probably be on the way. The spring additions aside, McManus expects the defending NFC champions to add both at safety and linebacker before the season. The Howie Roseman-era Eagles have a history of late-offseason supplementation on defense, having acquired Gardner-Johnson barely a week before last season and having traded for Ronald Darby in August 2017.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • The Cardinals’ tampering violation involving Jonathan Gannon may have impacted Vic Fangio‘s decision-making this offseason. Fangio likely would have become the Eagles’ defensive coordinator had the Cardinals and Gannon been upfront about the process that led to the two-year Eagles DC leaving for Arizona, Adam Schefter of ESPN said during a recent appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic’s John Kincade Show. Cards GM Monti Ossenfort confessed to inappropriate contact with Gannon after the NFC championship game. The Cardinals officially requested a Gannon HC interview on Super Bowl Sunday, but discussions occurred before that point. The Eagles had previously eyed Fangio, who had served as a consultant for the team last season, as a Gannon replacement. Ex-Fangio lieutenant Sean Desai is now running Philly’s defense, and the team would have needed to pay up to keep Fangio, who is earning upwards of $4MM per year with the Dolphins.
  • Lane Johnson played in all three Eagles playoff games, coming back in limited form after suffering a late-season adductor injury that required offseason surgery. With that operation successful, Johnson alerted fans this week (via Twitter) he is good to go. This injury was not expected to threaten Johnson’s training camp availability, and the Eagles are on track to have their right tackle back — and on a new deal — well in time for the season.
  • Commanders linebacker Jamin Davis will miss offseason time after undergoing a cleanup procedure on his knee, Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post tweets. This procedure occurred earlier this year and should be considered unlikely to threaten the third-year defender’s chances of starting the season on time. A 2021 first-round pick, Davis worked as a full-time starter in Washington last season, making 104 tackles (nine for loss) and tallying three sacks.
  • The Giants are making some changes to their scouting department. D.J. Boisture, a second-generation Giants staffer who had been with the team for a decade, is no longer in place as its West Coast area scout, Neil Stratton of InsidetheLeague.com tweets. Pro scout Steven Price is also out, per the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz, who notes this may be a case of neither’s contract being renewed. Price spent the past three years with the Giants. GM Joe Schoen did not make many changes to Big Blue’s scouting staff last year, but the post-draft period often sees shuffling in these departments. The Giants are also promoting Marcus Cooper — an ex-Bills exec — to a national scout role. Cooper has been with the Giants for five years. Blaise Bell, who has been in the organization since 2019, will also rise to an area scout role.
  • Oshane Ximinesdeal to stay with the Giants will be worth the league minimum. The fifth-year outside linebacker will be tied to a one-year, $1.1MM deal, per The Athletic’s Dan Duggan, who notes the Giants are guaranteeing the former third-round pick $200K (Twitter link).

Washington Places LB Jamin Davis On IR

The Commanders have made a handful of moves heading into their season finale against the Cowboys, according to their official Twitter account. The team placed starting linebacker Jamin Davis on injured reserve, filling his open roster spot by activating tight end Armani Rogers from IR. Washington also announced it would be elevating cornerback Troy Apke and running back Reggie Bonnafon from the practice squad as standard gameday elevations.

Davis will officially be held out of the team’s final contest as he deals with a knee injury that had him listed as questionable coming into the weekend. The Commanders’ leading tackler has started 15 of 16 games this season, contributing 104 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks, and five quarterback hits. With Davis absent tomorrow, backup linebacker Khaleke Hudson will likely slide into the starting spot in his place.

Rogers, an undrafted rookie who was used as a kind of Swiss Army knife at Ohio, appeared in 10 games for the Commanders, starting three, before being placed on IR with knee and ankle injuries. Washington brings back the versatile utility player just in time to end the season.

Apke is in his fifth season with the Commanders, spending this year on the practice squad after playing out his rookie contract. Apke will be elevated to potentially appear in his second game of the season and his second game in a row. Bonnafon could potentially make his Washington debut after three seasons in Carolina.

WFT Signs First-Round LB Jamin Davis, Rest Of Draft Class

All 10 WFT rookies are now under contract. The team announced that they’ve signed each of their draft picks to rookie contracts.

This grouping is obviously highlighted by first-round linebacker Jamin Davis. The Kentucky product used a strong 2020 campaign to jump from a potential Day 3 pick to the No. 19 selection in the 2021 draft. Davis ultimately finished this past season with a team-leading 102 tackles, 1.5 sacks, four tackles for loss, and three interceptions. This standout performance earned him First-Team All-SEC honors from Pro Football Focus. Considering the rookie’s versatility and pass-rushing prowess, it won’t be long before he’s secured a consistent role on Washington’s defense.

Texas offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi was selected by Washington with the No. 51 pick. The former Texas standout played both right tackle and left tackle in college, so WFT offensive line coach John Matsko will have plenty of opportunities to play the rookie.

The rest of the team’s draft class includes:

Washington Takes Kentucky LB Jamin Davis At No. 19

Jamin Davis has completed his rise up the draft board. The Kentucky linebacker was selected by Washington with the 19th-overall pick.

The 6-foot-4, 234-pound linebacker has had one of the greatest jumps in draft stock in recent history. Davis was projected to be a fourth- or fifth-round pick as recently as October, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). However, following a standout 2020 campaign, the linebacker established himself as a potential day-one selection.

How good was that 2020 campaign? Davis ultimately finished this past season with a team-leading 102 tackles, 1.5 sacks, four tackles for loss, and three interceptions. This standout performance earned him First-Team All-SEC honors from Pro Football Focus.

Davis should be an immediate contributor in Washington. He has the versatility to play in a coverage role, and he has some untapped potential as a pass rusher, a pair of skills that could certainly be used at the position.

Washington should have more opportunities to add to their defense during the draft. The team has seven more selections, including

  • Round 2: No. 51
  • Round 3: Nos. 74 (from 49ers), 82
  • Round 4: No. 124
  • Round 5: No. 163
  • Round 7: Nos. 244 (from Vegas), 246, 258 (from Chiefs through Dolphins)