The Jarrad Davis era in Detroit is over.
After four disappointing seasons with the Detroit Lions, the former first-round pick will play elsewhere in 2021. As first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Davis is signing a one-year deal worth $7 million with the New York Jets.
Davis came to Detroit sporting an eye-popping athletic profile, but he struggled to put it all together on the field. Whether it was misdiagnosing his run fits or overrunning plays or missing tackles, Davis could never seem to play to his full potential.
2020 seemed to be the last straw for the Lions. They did not pick up Davis’ fifth-year option, and he finally lost his starting role with the team. Though he showed some promise in a limited role, it was not nearly enough to warrant a re-signing.
That being said, there was some indicators that Detroit’s new coaching staff may have been interested in bringing him back for a second chance. Head coach Dan Campbell was actually quite blunt about it when talking with the Detroit News earlier this year.
“Look, I can’t tell you what we’re going to do in free agency, but when you state it like that, Jarrad Davis, there’s something about that guy, man,” Campbell said. “Things I hear about the way he was coached, and just knowing the ability and aggressiveness, he intrigues me. He pops off the tape and you feel like, man, can we help this guy? Can we make this guy a better player?”
However, the Lions likely weren’t going to pay as much as Davis got. So, instead, Detroit will be in the linebacker market after already releasing Christian Jones this offseason and with Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Reggie Ragland heading for free agency—though the Lions have interest in bringing Reeves-Maybin back.