Fred Davis says he wants to remain a Redskin, but the free agent tight end also acknowledged the possibility that he’ll end up elsewhere.
“This is the team I got drafted to. This is all I know,” Davis said Friday morning during a wide-ranging interview on NFL Network. “And we’re finally starting pick it up, get all the right pieces to [contend.]”
The Redskins met with Davis’ agent on Sunday to reiterate their interest in bringing the 27-year-old back for a sixth season. But Coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday that there are two factors complicating matters: Davis is still recovering from a torn Achilles’ tendon and the team’s $18 million salary cap penalty has left them with significantly less money to spend.
“I definitely would [like to stay], but at the end of the day, I’ll play wherever,” Davis said. “It doesn’t matter to me. It’s about football to me. I would like to stay here, but if I can’t, I’m fine with that as well.”
Davis also said his recovery is ahead of schedule and that the injury likely has put a damper on some teams' interest in signing him. Since free agency began on March 12, the Redskins and Browns are the only teams that have been linked to Davis in the media.
“I’m good,” he said. “I’m just rehabbing and working out right now. I started running a couple of weeks ago. I’m back on my pace. A little bit ahead of schedule, which is really good.”
He added: “I think [the injury] probably did play a little part [in hurting his appeal on the open market] because this is a business at the end of the day. If a team was to see my working out in a gym, like how I’ve been, I think they would change their mind about that. But it’s a business and they have to do what they have to do. I’m going to tell you this: Next year, I’m going to be back, and ahead of schedule.”
Davis was the Redskins’ leading receiver and on target for a career season when he suffered a ruptured Achilles while running a routine route against the Giants on October 21. He had season-ending surgery a few days later.
At the time, Davis also was just starting to get on the same page with rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, he said.
“Playing with him takes a lot off of me,” Davis said. “Because defenses have to worry about him, then they have to worry about Alfred [Morris], and now they have worry about Pierre [Garçon]. We have a lot of weapons and if I was to stay here, I feel I definitely can, with a lot one-on-one coverage and people not worrying too much about me, I could do a lot of damage. Which we started doing [before] I got hurt.”
As for Griffin, Davis said when the two were rehabbing together at Redskins Park earlier this month, he was stunned by the progress RG3 was making in his return from major knee surgery.
“He definitely looks really good,” Davis said of Griffin. “You can barely even tell that he’s hurt. He’s doing every drill. He looks comfortable and normal to me. When he first got back, I was surprised, like, ‘Did you just have surgery?’
“He works hard,” Davis added. “Whenever he says he’s going to do something, he’s going to do it. I believe that he’ll be back sooner than people expect.”
But when Griffin returns, will Davis be one of his targets?