Redskins sign TE Vernon Davis

Vernon Davis, a free agent tight end who attended the University of Maryland, is returning to the Washington, D.C. area to sign with the Washington Redskins. Full terms of the deal are not yet available, but this post will be updated when they are.

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Davis, a former Pro Bowl tight end who can catch and block, has fallen off the map in recent years. He won a Super Bowl with Denver last season after being traded in-season from the San Francisco 49ers, the team that drafted him in 2006, but did not play a major role in the Broncos offense in 2015. Davis caught 20 passes for 201 yards with Denver and 18 passes for 194 yards with the 49ers. He did not catch a touchdown in 2015.

However, Davis, 32, isn’t far removed from being a big producer at his position. His heyday was 2009-2013, when he averaged 59 receptions per year and caught 13 touchdown passes in a season twice. In 2014, however, his numbers fell dramatically and he went from being one of the top tight ends in the NFL to just a guy who used to be famous for being good.

Davis is a solid blocker, as well as pass-catcher, giving the Skins something they did not have on the roster. Starter Jordan Reed is one of the most feared receivers in the NFL, but is a mediocre blocker, at best. Niles Paul is coming off a serious injury and, like Reed, is hampered by being a bit undersized for the position. Logan Paulsen, who is also coming off a serious injury, is strictly a blocker and not a lock to make the team in 2016. Derek Carrier is yet another tight end coming off a serious injury and might not be available at the start of the season. Carrier, too, is not an ideal blocker for the position.

If Davis, who says he wants to play four or five more seasons, can resurrect his career in Washington, it would give the Skins the opportunity to go with 2-TE sets, with Reed and Davis forming a potent receiving tandem in the center of the field. A career revival from Davis in Washington could give Washington’s offense a major boost in 2016 and, perhaps, beyond.

For his career, Davis has 461 catches for 55 touchdowns and 5841 yards, averaging 12.7 yards per reception. Davis has been most injury-free in his career, having played at least 14 games per season every year since 2007.

Redskins GM Scot McCloughan has ties to Davis, as he was with the 49ers when the team made him a first round draft pick in 2006.

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COMMENTS

  • Read the story first because I’ve got some stat info on Davis there.

  • I like this signing a lot — and not just because he’s a fellow Terp. Washington’s offense — anyone’s offense — would really benefit from a real 2-TE set. Teams that can put 2 good tight ends on the field at the same time keep the defense guessing about run or pass and they cause nightmares for defenses over the middle of the field. The question is whether or not Davis can resurrect his career in Washington. As I point out in the story, he was in his statistical prime as recently as 2013 and he hasn’t suffered any major injuries. It’ll be up to Davis and the Skins’ coaches to get his career going again. If they succeed with that, I’d love to see Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis on the field at the same time for a sizable percentage of the team’s offensive snaps. I suspect we’ll see lots of that since the team is giving up the fullback position. Reed, Davis, Garcon, DJax and Matt Jones/Chris Thompson on the field at the same time is a ton of weapons for Cousins. That’s a dangerous offense… IF Davis can get his career going again.

  • Niles Paul on the mend too!

  • Robert Anderson Yeah, hopefully Paul and Paulsen will be healthy for training camp, though I don’t think Paulsen is a lock to make the team. [He wasn’t a lock to make it last year.] I’d be surprised if Derek Carrier is ready at training camp, but we will see. An effective Vernon Davis would make this a very strong position for the Skins.

  • yeah . . . not sure how i feel . . . he used to be a good TE, just not sure if his lack of production the last two years were due to who was throwing him the ball, his inability to get open, or a combination of the two . . . Peyton Manning used to use his TE’s a lot with good results, but that didn’t happen with Davis and they basically stopped throwing to him or using him much once Owen Daniels was healthy . . . at the same time, Peyton Manning last year was not the same player we were used to seeing . . . His blocking capabilities will be nice, so hopefully that will help the running game a bit too . . . i guess we’ll see how he pans out

  • Considering when he was signed, I’m quite certain Davis is not taking up much space under the cap, so it is probably a very low-risk move for the Skins.

  • I think this is also hedging Paul’s recovery and the omnipresent risk of injury with Reed.

  • I have a man crush on McC.

  • i think a lot of us diehard Skins fans do . . . lol

  • Robert Anderson Everyone does. Some of the players rave about McCloughan “saving” the team.

  • I hope he can stay healthy (off the booze) and be the GM for a long long time!!

  • I don’t think Davis produced in DEN bc he arrived later in the season and never grasped the playbook up to speed to be trusted enough IMO. I like Davis Paul and Reed as our top 3 and the odd man out can play the hybrid FB/h back in certain plays. Bc of injuries to that position he is a solid depth add and still has enough to produce if called up to fill in. I could be wrong

  • we all know how the SF debacle turned out after Harbaugh left. No consistency at QB since ’13

  • I like it… we now have depth at the position and another work ethic guy. Not to mention, if he can return to form, he might push Reed. Not at being a starter, but more of a professional.

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