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Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Would Bills consider Fred Davis trade?

By Mike Rodak

The NFL's trade deadline arrives next Tuesday, and the Washington Post reports that the Washington Redskins are open to trading tight end Fred Davis.

Bills fans might remember Davis from a free-agent visit this offseason. The team announced in March that head coach Doug Marrone hosted Davis at the Bills' facility, but Davis ultimately re-signed with the Redskins.

Davis is coming off an Achilles' injury that limited him to seven games last season. He's played just four games this season, making three catches for 25 yards. He was inactive Sunday, with the Redskins leaning more on Jordan Reed at tight end.

Writes ESPN.com Redskins reporter John Keim:
Davis has been his own worst enemy when it comes to his career, first with the drug suspension. Can't blame him for the injury. But if he had the same work ethic as [Logan] Paulsen and Reed, then Davis would not be in the spot he is now. Yes, his ankle is still bothering him but that provides an excuse as much as anything. Also, Davis will continue to be inactive (unless all four tight ends are active) because of his inability to play special teams. Paulsen and [Niles] Paul both play special teams. Davis does not. Unless something changes, he'll enter free agency coming off another season that leads to more questions than answers about his game. Having said all that, if his legs are healthy, Davis can still play. It's also not as if Davis has somehow changed his habits this year. It's just that the Redskins just found better alternatives.

At this point, with the Redskins essentially casting Davis aside, it seems reasonable that he could be had for a conditional late-round pick.

Davis' stock has slipped since his career season in 2011, when he caught 59 passes for 796 yards and three touchdowns.

For the Bills, it's unlikely Davis would replace Scott Chandler in the starting lineup. He would simply provide another option at the position. Chandler, who is also coming off an Achilles' injury, ranks 19th among NFL tight ends, with 22 receptions for 269 yards and two touchdowns.

Beyond Chandler, the Bills have Lee Smith, a blocking tight end with two receptions this season, and their seventh-round pick, Chris Gragg. The addition of Davis would likely push Gragg, who has played just six offensive snaps this season, to the practice squad.

Although it's a considerable long-shot, the other wrinkle to consider here is safety Jairus Byrd. Although they're not actively shopping him, the Bills have said they'll listen to any offers on Byrd. The Redskins need a safety.

While the Redskins would clearly need to give up more than Davis (i.e. a mid-round draft pick or higher) to get Byrd, it would be a swap of two players who have expiring contracts, creating an impetus for both sides to make a deal.