According to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Detroit Lions are not expected to pick up linebacker Jarrad Davis’ fifth-year option. The 2017 first-round pick will now enter the final year of his rookie deal with his future in Detroit uncertain, at best.
Since landing in Detroit, Lions coaches have praised Davis’ work ethic, attitude and skill set. However, through three seasons, the results just haven’t materialized on the field. Davis has struggled with missed assignments, blown tackles and overall positioning.
Though he was drafted under head coach Jim Caldwell, general manager Bob Quinn told media last year they believed Davis was a unique talent that transcends defensive scheme.
“It’s really unique that, fortune I’d say, that we were able to get Jarrad Davis a couple drafts ago,” Quinn said. “He can really play in any defense, which is great. We drafted him for the previous defense but he’s a really good fit in what we do now.”
Yet it was clear by this regime’s actions over the past two offseasons that they may have already started to plan for life without Davis. Last year, they drafted Jahlani Tavai in the second round and this year they added one of the best-fitting linebackers in free agency with Jamie Collins Sr.
That all being said, this isn’t necessarily the end of Davis in Detroit. He has one more year remaining on his contract, but it’s possible the Lions would rather bring him back on a cheaper contract than the approximately $10.1 million fifth-year option. Either way, Davis will have to earn his keep in 2020 on the field.
UPDATE: The Detroit News is now confirming the story.