The deadline to franchise tag players came and went on Monday and, as was expected by just about everyone, the Redskins took no action.
The one candidate for the franchise designation was tight end Fred Davis. He was the team’s franchise player last year. It turned out to be a short season as he suffered a torn Achilles tendon in Week 7 and went on injured reserve the rest of the way.
The Redskins may have considered using the tag on him again but that would mean that Davis’ $6.5 million salary would immediately count against the 2013 salary cap and the team simply doesn’t have the cap room to be able to do that.
It appears that Davis will take advantage of his ability to shop his services for the first time in his five-year career. According to many on Twitter Davis told a Cleveland radio station that it would be “awesome” to play for his hometown Browns (I have not been able to locate a transcript or podcast to verify this). Davis is a native of Toledo.
And there certainly is nothing wrong with him saying that. When free agency starts a week from today, Davis likely will say that it would be awesome to play for any of the 32 NFL teams. Given the Redskins’ salary cap limitations it is unlikely that they will make him an offer that he can’t refuse without talking to other teams first. He could end up looking around and coming back to the Redskins with his best offer to see if they can match it or come close enough to persuade him that the familiar surroundings and the presence of a potential superstar quarterback in RG3 is worth a little less money.
That said, I wouldn’t look for Davis to give the Redskins a substantial hometown discount. This is likely to be the one big contract he will sign in his NFL career and he needs to maximize it. Where Davis could give the Redskins a break is in the structure of the deal. He could let the Redskins backload some of the money to make the 2013 cap hit of the deal more manageable for the team.
Redskins don't use the tag
CSN Washington | Mar 5