NFL rumors are swirling around Vernon Davis. Last season, the San Francisco 49ers finally gave up on their former first-round tight end. The Denver Broncos thought he might have something left in the tank, traded away a pair of draft picks to get him, and watched him become a non-factor in their Super Bowl winning season. According to NBC Sports, it now appears that the Washington Redskins are going to be giving Davis another chance to prove that he still belongs in the National Football League.
In 2006, Washington Redskins general manager Scott McCloughan was the vice president of player personnel for the San Francisco 49ers. That same year, Vernon Davis was a highly touted tight end for the Maryland Terrapins. McCloughan watched the Niners use the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft on Davis. While the relationship between Davis and the 49ers was sometimes rocky, there were a lot of good times together.
Aside from his working relationship with Scott McCloughan, location was a big reason why Vernon Davis chose to sign with the Washington Redskins. The 6’3″, 250-pound tight end is a native of Washington, D.C., so there’s a major appeal in playing in front of his hometown crowd. There are quite a few NFL coaches and executives who are under the impression that Davis is over the hill, so the Redskins might have been one of the few options that Vernon had in free agency.
Earlier this month, Vernon Davis stated that he would love to play another four to five seasons in the NFL. That’s pretty ambitious, as most people are more curious to see if Davis can make it through another season. Financial terms of the deal have not been released, but the widespread belief is that Davis is under contract for just one season.
One of the issues that plagued Vernon Davis during his stint with the Denver Broncos was that he struggled to learn the offensive scheme that Gary Kubiak utilizes. That may or may not be a problem with the Washington Redskins because Jay Gruden runs a pretty complicated scheme. In the defense of Davis, he didn’t get a lot of time to learn the Broncos offensive system because he was traded during the middle of the regular season.
A big reason why the Denver Broncos were willing to let Vernon Davis walk away in free agency was because Jeff Heuerman has finally recovered from a torn ACL injury. He missed his rookie season, but Gary Kubiak and the Broncos coaching staff are very high on him. Veteran Virgil Green is also still around. There’s a good chance that Denver comes to an agreement with recently released Owen Daniels on a return.
The Washington Redskins have pretty enviable depth at the tight end position. In addition to Vernon Davis, they also have Jordan Reed. The former Florida Gators star led the Redskins in receptions last season, and he has a ton of potential. Washington is also bringing back Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen, and Derek Carrier. Scott McCloughan is stacking up at the position because there are concerns about durability, as some of these guys are coming off of injuries.
The signing of Vernon Davis might not seem like it is a huge deal in the NFL. Very few believe that it will shift the balance of power in the NFC East. However, if Davis can find the fountain of youth and a boatload of motivation, then he can definitely be a difference maker. If so, Kirk Cousins will have a security blanket in the middle of the field, one that can also be a threat to take safeties deep.
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