Inactivity costs Davis $500,000
Fred Davis expressed his displeasure with losing out on a $500,000 roster bonus by being inactive for the Washington Redskins’ game against the Minnesota Vikings last Thursday, and he said he’s trying to do whatever he can to be able to play again this season.
“It [stinks] not to be able to earn it, you know what I’m saying?” Davis said Wednesday. “Just to know that — I know I’m healthy and I was ready to play. I kind of figured that would happen, though, since I didn’t get to play the last two games. I mean, I kind of figured it was going that way.”
Davis, who entered the season as the Redskins’ starting tight end, was slowly phased out of the game plan in favor of rookie Jordan Reed. He has been inactive for five games this season — including the past four, which cost him the bonus.
A free agent after last season, Davis signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract on March 29 that included a $1 million base salary and a $1.5 million signing bonus. The deal also included the possibility of an additional $1.25 million in incentives, including $500,000 for being active for 12 of the Redskins’ 16 games.
Davis has repeatedly said that he returned to the Redskins this season for less money because of the chance to thrive in an offense with which he was comfortable. He visited the Buffalo Bills in March and was scheduled to meet with the New York Jets before signing the contract to return to the Redskins.
“I feel like I’m doing everything I need to do,” Davis said. “I’m just not getting the opportunity to play. That’s really it. I don’t know if I will for the rest of the season, but if I do, I’ll take my chances. If not, I’ve got to wait for the offseason, free agency, whatever.”
The tight end has only three catches for 25 yards this season, including two for 22 yards in the opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 9. He said Wednesday he’s willing to help out on special teams if asked, but that conversation hasn’t taken place.
Aside from the roster bonus, he has started to realize it could be difficult this offseason to obtain the long-term contract he has been coveting.
“I think that’s something that you
definitely have to think about because everybody’s gonna wonder why I’m not playing,” Davis said. “It’s even like, everybody’s got questions why, but at the end of the day, all I need is one team to believe in me, and if it’s here or if it’s not here, I’m gonna show them that I’m a pro and I’m able to play in this league.”
— something I do no think about.”
Still, a lame-duck season would be far from ideal for any coach. Shanahan was earlier asked a similar question about players who are entering the final year of their contracts, too. That question elicited a similar response.
“I think anybody that’s in the last year of their contract, some of these players, they understand the reality of what we’re dealing with,” Shanahan said. “They’d like to put the best performance on tape. That gives them more leverage and rightfully so. We’d like our players to make as much money as possible because they work extremely hard for us.”
Shanahan’s teams went a combined 11-21 during his first two seasons with the Redskins and missed the playoffs both times. But last year a seven-game win streak to end the regular season led to a 10-6 record and an NFC East title before an NFC wild card loss to the Seattle Seahawks. This year Washington is again off to a 3-6 start, prompting speculation about whether owner Daniel Snyder will give his coach an extension or force him to play out next season with one year left on his deal.
“Any time I talk about a contract, whether if it’s a player or a coach, it’s always after the season,” Shanahan said. “Once we get started we don’t talk about it because we got to focus on each game and if you don’t focus on the game you take away from what you’re trying to accomplish.”
— The Los Angeles Dodgers hired Nationals assistant general manager and VP for player personnel Roy Clark as a national scout. Clark had been with the Nats since October 2009. … The Capitals reassigned defenseman Dmitry Orlov to the AHL Hershey Bears. … D.C. United forward Michael Seaton, 17, has been called up to the Jamaican national team for friendlies Friday and Tuesday against Trinidad & Tobago.