Jarrad Davis spent the 2021 season with the Jets, but the former Lions first-round pick is heading back to Detroit. Despite a new regime having replaced the one that drafted him, the veteran linebacker committed to rejoin the Lions on Friday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
Although Davis received steady opportunities in Detroit, the Lions did not pick up his fifth-year option. He was benched during his contract year and ended up a Jet on a one-year deal. The Florida alum contemplated retirement following his initial Detroit exit and saw injury issues slow him in New York.
The Lions used Davis as a full-time player from 2017-18, and he compiled a 100-tackle, six-sack season in 2018. Advanced metrics did not view Davis’ work especially well, and he missed five games due to injury in 2019. In 2020, the Lions used him as just a four-game starter. With the Jets last season, Davis played nine games (five starts) but recorded just 25 tackles and spent the first half of the season on IR.
Detroit has not made significant investments at inside linebacker since Davis departed in 2021. The team jettisoned Jamie Collins midway through last season, opening the door for fourth-round rookie Derrick Barnes to see additional playing time. Alex Anzalone remains under contract, but the team lost Jalen Reeves-Maybin to the Texans last week. Reeves-Maybin’s 82 tackles led Lions linebackers last season.