Until Monday, Redskins tight end Fred Davis hadn’t publicly addressed the 2011 drug suspension that cost him the final four weeks of a breakthrough season.
“It is embarrassing,” Davis said about failing multiple drug tests and being suspended without pay for the final four weeks of last season. “When you do something you’ve got just take the consequences. I made the choice to smoke and that’s what happens.”
Davis says he’s made some changes to his life style. He said he didn’t go out as much this offseason, choosing instead to just workout and spend time training for the season. He also said
“You choose to be around it,” Davis said about ridding himself of the drug-use that got him in trouble. “It’s just like anything, you’ve just got to make sure you make the right decisions and make the right choices and know the worth of being in the NFL. This game doesn’t last long and missing four games could have been your last four games.”
A 26-year-old USC product who caught 59 passes for 796 yards, Davis insists that drugs have never been a problem for him.
“It never was a big issue,” he said. “I guess the lockout made me a little more free with doing that. That’s probably what it was, all that free time. I think now, I already realize what’s important is football. It’s not going to be an issue for me.”
Davis was having the best year of his career when the league ruled that he couldn’t participate in the last quarter of the Redskins’ season. Another failed drug test would result in the 258-pound pass catcher missing an entire season.
The fifth-year veteran hadn’t missed a game since his rookie season prior to the suspension, and he says not being able to participate was a dagger.
“[Not] being there for four games and not being able to be out there with my teammates,” Davis said. “Watching the games on TV was probably the hardest part. The money issue was hard too but not being able to play was even worse.”
Despite Davis putting the club in a difficult position in December, the Redskins decided to reward the flourishing tight end with the franchise tag this offseason, agreeing to pay him a one-year rate at the average annual value of the league’s five highest paid players at his position.
“You don’t see too many guys get tagged after something like that,” Davis admitted. “I’ve been blessed. I’m definitely going to respect that and work as hard as I can. I think that they just know the type of guy I am. I’m going to work hard, yeah I smoked but that’s not going to change the type of player I’m going to be or what I do on the field. They trust that off the field I’m going to be fine, that I can handle it.”