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Browns reportedly will not tender Tae Davis

Davis joins Tavierre Thomas as the second special teams member that Cleveland will let test the free agent market.

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns will reportedly not place a tender offer on linebacker Tae Davis.

Davis becomes the second member of the special teams unit to hit free agency, joining cornerback Tavierre Thomas, who general manager Andrew Berry is reportedly not planning to tender.

The news about Davis was first reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero:

Davis is one of three restricted free agents on the Browns, joining wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge and Thomas, that were in line for a tender offer before free agency begins on March 17. The tender offer would have provided the Browns the opportunity to match any offer sheet that Davis would receive from another team.

But with the salary cap coming in at $182.5 million this season, which is down from $198.2 million in 2020, Berry has apparently decided to let Davis simply hit the market. That does not mean the Browns can’t re-sign Davis, but they no longer would have the opportunity to retain him by automatically matching another team’s contract offer.

If the Browns had offered a right-of-first-refusal tender to Davis, they would have been on the hook for a one-year contract worth a little more than $2.3 million if Davis did not sign with another team, according to Over the Cap.

An undrafted free agent out of Chattanooga in 2018 by the New York Giants, the Browns claimed Davis off waivers in 2019. This past season he finished with seven tackles on special teams, appearing in 13 games.

Like most people, Davis also spent the last year dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit him hard last April when three of his family members were hospitalized with the disease in Alabama while Davis was in Cleveland.

Davis coped with the stress by working with Meals on Wheels to help feed elderly residents in Northeast Ohio, he told Mark Inabinett of

“Truth be told, this past year has been really tough on me mentally. But I thank God that he brought me through it, and I have a great support system behind me that will be there for me when I need them, and right now, I’m doing a lot better mentally and making sure I don’t get back to that place again.”

Cleveland’s list of unrestricted free agents includes defensive end Olivier Vernon, wide receivers Rashard Higgins and Taywan Taylor, cornerbacks Terrance Mitchell and Kevin Johnson, linebackers B.J. Goodson and Malcolm Smith, defensive tackles Larry Ogunjobi and Vincent Taylor, safeties Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo, kicker Cody Parkey, offensive tackle Kendall Lamm and wide receiver/kick returner JoJo Natson.