Though the Detroit Lions re-signed Zach Zenner on Friday morning, that has not slowed their pursuit of more running backs to add to the backfield. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport—and later confirmed by the Detroit Free Press—free agent MIke Davis is on his way to Detroit to meet with the Lions:
The #Seahawks did not tender RB Mike Davis, and he’s looking around. Source said Davis is traveling to the #Lions today and has his visit tomorrow. Davis, who flashed against the #Eagles and #Jaguars, has other visits lined up.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2018
As Rapoport alludes to, Davis was a restricted free agent with the Seahawks, but because they didn’t offer him a tender, he became an unrestricted free agent at the beginning of the league year.
Davis was a former fourth-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers. However, he rarely got any carries there behind Carlos Hyde, who was drafted a year before Davis. The 49ers eventually cut Davis in 2017, shortly after drafting running back Joe Williams.
From there, the Seahawks scooped Davis up and stashed him on the practice squad until the final two months of the 2017 season. That’s when Davis got his first real shot as a starting running back. Davis started six of Seattle’s final seven games, rushing for 240 yards (3.5 YPC), catching 15 passes for 131 yards, but failing to reach the end zone. That performance wasn’t enough for the Seahawks to place a restricted free agent tender that would’ve been worth $1.9 million. Seattle also passed on giving a tender to fellow running back Thomas Rawls.
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Davis doesn’t quite fit the mold of the type of running backs the Lions have been interested in. For one, he’s only 25, while the others Detroit have brought in (DeMarco Murray, Frank Gore and LeGarrette Blount) are all over 30. That being said, Davis does possess the punishing rushing style that the Lions are looking for, particularly to improve their poor short-yardage performance in 2017.