- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Obviously, Fred Davis wanted to be a free agent, and who could blame him? You don't get to do that very often, and it's nice to have teams fly you in for interviews and show you around and offer you money and make you feel wanted. Davis was in Buffalo earlier this week, where the Bills did the whole dance with him and he did a news conference after the visit to talk about how great everything was there. He had his fun.
But in the end, Davis decided to return to the Washington Redskins on a one-year deal, which is the way it looked as though it would go all along and is the best thing for him and for the Redskins. According to John Keim, Buffalo's offer was a two-year deal (such as they are in the NFL) and could have been worth $700,000 more than the Redskins offered.
So why didn't Davis jump? Well, the Bills don't currently have a real NFL starting quarterback and are petitioning the league to allow them to use one of those Jugs machines (you know, with the two spinning rubber wheels, where you put the football in and it kind of shoots out?) in games instead. That appeal is unlikely to work, which means Tarvaris Jackson (or, more likely, a drafted rookie) will be throwing the passes in Buffalo this year. And Davis, coming off an Achilles injury and looking to put up big receiving numbers to prove himself and get a better deal next year, is better off catching passes from Robert Griffin III and/or Kirk Cousins.
This is a very good re-sign for the Redskins, who have had salary-cap problems this offseason as a result of league-impose penalties but have nonetheless been able to retain a good number of the free-agent players from their 2012 NFC East title team. They had to cut starting cornerback DeAngelo Hall, and reserve linebacker and special-teams captain Lorenzo Alexander signed with Arizona, but everyone else they wanted to keep they have kept. Should Davis make a full recovery from his injury, he'll be a valuable passing-game weapon for the Redskins this year and will put himself in a position to really cash in this time next year. At that point, the Redskins will have cap room to offer him the deal he seeks.
So this is a win for both sides. The Redskins get back a player they wanted to keep. Davis got to dip his toe into free agency and still ended up back where he belongs. Sometimes these things take longer than the fans want them to, but this one all worked out in the end.