Jarrad Davis is the fifth New York free agent to move on
The Lions announced on Friday that Davis, their first-round pick from 2017, is coming back on a deal whose terms were not disclosed.
#Lions have signed unrestricted free agent LB Jarrad Davis
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) March 25, 2022
Davis was chosen 21st overall out of Florida in 2017 and played four seasons in the Motor City before the team declined to pick up his fifth-year option.
Thus ends Davis’ brief stop in New York, lasting only nine games after he inked a one-year, $5.5 million deal last spring, featuring $3 million in guarantees.
While he was seen as a strong name to insert into the newly installed 4-3 defense (which helped produce the strongest numbers of his football career at the University of Florida under the supervision of Geoff Collins and Randy Shannon), Davis’ time with the Jets felt doomed from the start.
Davis was injured during the Jets’ second preseason game in Green Bay, carted off the field with an ankle ailment that caused him to miss eight games. Davis returned and tallied 25 tackles over nine games, including five starts.
After playing a featured role over his first three games (41.3 snaps per game), Davis’ struggles led to his playing time being sliced. Davis played only 14.0 snaps per game over his final six appearances.
Little effort was made to bring Davis back for another season, as the rise of Quincy Williams made him expendable in the interior.
Despite Davis’ disappointing metropolitan showing, a return to Detroit could be a chance for him to reclaim the narrative on his professional career. Though they didn’t work together during the 2021 season, Lions head coach Dan Campbell was intrigued by what Davis had to offer upon taking the top job in Detroit last winter.
“Look, I can’t tell you what we’re going to do in free agency, but when you state it like that, Jarrad Davis, there’s something about that guy, man,” Campbell told Justin Rogers of The Detroit News last February. “(The) things I hear about the way he was coached, and just knowing the ability and aggressiveness, he intrigues me. He pops off the tape and you feel like man, can we help this guy? Can we make this guy a better player?”
Davis becomes the fifth New York free agent to seek new work elsewhere, joining Jamison Crowder (Buffalo), Foley Fatukasi (Jacksonville), Marcus Maye (New Orleans), and Morgan Moses (Baltimore). The Jets and Lions are set to do battle at MetLife Stadium this fall on a date to be determined.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags