As the season winds down, it's time for us to take a look at who could be a front office target this summer.
Who, what, when, where, why and how much?
We start with Washington Redskins TE Fred Davis.
|Receiving||Kickoff Returns||Punt Returns|
Contract Status for 2012: Unrestricted Free Agent
Why we want him: We need playmakers, and right now Davis has quietly become one of the better young TE's in the NFL. Plus, he is a field stretching TE. As you see he is averaging 13.5 YPC this season, but last season he averaged 15.0 YPC.
According to Football Outsiders Davis ranks as the 6th best TE in the NFL this season. Pretty good considering he ranks behind Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Jermicheal Finley. Every single one of those TE's have Pro Bowl QB's. Davis has been doing his damage with Rex Grossman and John Beck.
I know the Browns have a decent set of TE's, but Davis is miles better than what we have. Ben Watson has been a disappointment this season, Alex Smith is the prototypical version of replaceable, Evan Moore is a complete question mark and Jordan Cameron is an unknown.
My ideal world would be let Smith and Watson go (Watson's deal is up after 2012, and I couldn't care less what Smith's contract situation is), replace them with Cameron and Davis. This would give the Browns three TE's that would be ideal pass catchers in a West Coast offense (I assume Cameron is a fit, otherwise we wouldn't have drafted him).
Plus, we would get younger. Davis, 25, is the kind of guy we want to target, he is young and have a lot of tread left on the tires, as he has only 131 catches and has been a back-up up until this season.
Why he fits what we need: Again, the guy catches the football. If we stick with Colt, he has shown that he "likes" to throw underneath. How nice would it be to have a TE that could open up the middle of the field? Run Davis down the seam and let Norwood destroy Linebackers underneath over the middle.
Davis gives the Browns a young athletic TE that we haven't had since
a healthy Winslow the Wizard.
Why he would come here: Money. Bags and bags of money. How much? Don't know. If I had to guess, I would wager somewhere north of the Owen Daniels contract (Four years, 22 million). I would love 5 years for 30 million. Before you start saying "Wow, that seems like a lot of money", it's going to be a good deal once the current crop of TE's (Gronk, Jimmy Graham, Finley) get their deals.
I think within three years, a lot of TE's are going to start getting WR money. Get in now while we can get a "deal".
Plus, the chance to return home. Fred Davis was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. Attended Rogers High School and was a highly recruited WR. Chose to attend USC over The Ohio State (some believe that Pete Carrol worked some of his "magic" to get the Ohio boy out of the Scarlet and Gray).
Doesn't seem like he has any real ties to Cleveland, but coming home is always a factor, no matter how minor it may be.
Why the Redskins will let him go: This is where it gets tricky. The reason Davis has played sparingly before this season was because Chris Cooley, the all-time leader in TE catches and yards, was ahead of him. The question is, do the Redskins keep Davis and Cooley? Do the Redskins cut Cooley and keep Davis? Cooley is only 29 years old, but has struggled with injuries as of late.
Cooley is expensive (6 years, 30 million) and Mike Shanahan reportedly loves back-up TE Logan Paulsen. Can the Skins afford to sign Davis to the same contract that Cooley has? Seems like a lot of money.
They could use the franchise tag on Davis, but that is another spendy ticket. Last season the TE franchise tag cost teams 7.3 million dollars (again, this number could skyrocket if some of the younger guys sign extensions before next season). That would be over 12 million dollars in just Davis and Cooley alone. A lot of money for a team that could be looking for a WR, OL and QB in the off-season.
Finally, Davis is under suspension for Drugs. He reportedly failed a drug test twice for marijuana. Don't get me wrong, a guy coming up to his biggest pay day getting popped for weed is a bad sign. Can it be overcome?
I think there is a chance Davis gets tagged, put a gun to my head I would put it at 40%.
So, what do you feel we should do?