Fred Davis: NFL is a business

Updated: October 30, 2013, 6:56 PM ET
By John Keim | ESPN.com

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis said money might play a factor in his not being active the past two games, a charge his head coach, who doubles as the team president, denies.

Davis also admitted he's "nodded off" in meetings and had hoped the Redskins would trade him Tuesday.

The Redskins' former starter has a $500,000 clause in his contract that's tied to the number of games he's active.

Davis has been on the inactive list three times this season, twice when healthy. The clause made sense when he signed a deal potentially worth $3 million because he was coming off an Achilles injury in 2012.

[+] EnlargeFred Davis
AP Photo/G. Newman LowranceFred Davis was hoping that the Redskins would trade him before Tuesday's deadline.

"It's a business," Davis said. "I'm sure that plays a factor."

But Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he didn't even know Davis had that clause in his contract.

"One thing I try to do as a head coach now as compared to when I was in Denver, I don't look at any of those incentives," Shanahan said. "I keep myself away from those things. I don't make decisions based on money."

Rookie Jordan Reed surpassed Davis as the main receiving target at the position for the Redskins. And they consider Logan Paulsen their best blocker, making Davis the No. 3 tight end. Because he doesn't play special teams, it'll be tough always to keep him active.

That's why he was hoping to be traded before the deadline Tuesday. However, even Davis acknowledged a trade was never likely considering he's in the final year of his contract.

''I like it here. I was drafted here,'' Davis said. ''But at the end of the day, I just want to play. If I can't play here, then I did want to play somewhere else.''

Shanahan has alluded in previous weeks to Davis' work habits, pointing out how well the other tight ends practice, for example. Davis has maintained that his practice habits haven't changed. But Shanahan said last week that Davis had a good week of practice.

The two spoke Wednesday.

"I let him know that I expected him to practice at a certain level and have his mind ready to play in the game," Shanahan said. "We had a good conversation, and he practiced well today."

Davis said he's practiced better the past week and a half because his sprained ankle no longer bothers him. But there also have been whispers about Davis falling asleep in meetings, a charge he did not deny.

''I've never slept through a whole meeting, but I've nodded off,'' Davis said. ''Everyone nods off. It's dark in there. You're watching film, you nod off, you wake up, get something to drink, go back. I've done that. Everybody's done that.''

Davis passed up a two-year, $700,000 deal from Buffalo to return to Washington, hoping he could parlay another good season into a much bigger deal. Instead, he's caught three passes for 25 yards this year.

"I did come here for less money, so it shows loyalty to the Redskins," Davis said. "I want to play and help the team. I know I can. I know I'm able. I know I have the ability to, definitely can be a playmaker for somebody."

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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