WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – For some reason, the most recent suspension of Fred Davis came as less of a surprise than it should have, and that doesn’t bode well for his prospects of landing on another NFL team in the near future, as he’s set to hit free agency at the start of the new league year.
The Redskins announced on Wednesday that Davis would be suspended indefinitely, effective immediately, for again violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances Abuse.
For a repeat offender like Davis, that ‘indefinitely’ label signifies being thrown at the mercy of the league, with no clear date for reinstatement.
“For over two years, I’ve worked very hard to eliminate marijuana from my life, and I have not had a positive test for it since 2011,” read a statement issued by Davis. “Unfortunately, a couple of months ago I took a supplement that contained a banned substance.”
Grant Paulsen, who covered the Redskins for four of Davis’ six seasons since being drafted 48th overall in 2008, hasn’t given up hope for this once-promising hybrid tight end, but believes Davis still faces an uphill struggle to be readmitted into the NFL.
“The 28-year old, I think at this point we can officially say, has a career that has gone off the tracks. I’m not gonna say it’s over yet,” Paulsen said on 106.7 The Fan on Thursday.
“Davis was set to be a free agent coming up in early March,” he said. “He was hoping to latch on somewhere and be a starter, and what he was hoping was that what happened to him in Washington — as he fell out of favor with Mike Shanahan — was gonna be a distant memory.”
After being inactive six of the first ten games, Davis hauled in 4 receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown in the Redskins’ final six.
His best bet is not traveling down the same path as former teammate Tanard Jackson, who never suited up for one regular season game in the two seasons he was employed by the Redskins.
“This is the second time the Redskins have had a player suspended indefinitely over the last handful of years,” Paulsen explained. “Tanard Jackson, as well; remember August of 2012. He still hasn’t been reinstated.”
“So for Fred Davis, as he’s looking ahead to free agency, there’s no reason to believe he’ll be reinstated by the end of this football season, let alone at the start of next year,” he said. “I just look at the amount of money he cost himself. As a tight end who was more new school than old school, I’m not comparing him to Jimmy Graham, but my point is, he’s more Jimmy Graham than Logan Paulsen.”
It’s not over for Davis; at least, it doesn’t have to be.
Whether he ever plays another down in the NFL will be up to one of 32 NFL franchises, and whether he’s deserving of a team taking a chance on him will be solely up to Davis, the 28-year-old tight end, who stands peering over the edge at the downside of his NFL career.