The Washington Redskins definitely didn’t need to sign a star tight end.
However, in signing Vernon Davis, they made a very smart decision.
Davis has had a very long and decorated NFL career, mostly with the San Francisco 49ers. During his NFL career, he registered 461 receptions for 5,841 yards and 55 touchdowns in 11 years with the Denver Broncos and 49ers.
Before starring in San Francisco, Davis caught 83 passes for 1,371 yards nine touchdowns during his three seasons with the Terrapins. He ended up being selected No. 6 overall in the 2006 NFL Draft by the 49ers.
With the type of credentials that Davis has, why is he such a fit for the Redskins?
It gives quarterback Kirk Cousins another threat in the passing game.
The Redskins already have a strong group of pass catcher with Jamison Crowder, Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, and Jordan Reed in the fold. Reed had by far his strongest NFL season as he caught 87 passes for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns.
However, most NFL teams have a duo of stellar tight ends.
Davis and Reed gives Cousins a pair of extremely athletic tight ends to throw to. While Davis isn’t the athletic freak that he used to be, he can still produce and there won’t be a lot of pressure on him since Reed is the starter.
Davis caught 38 passes for 395 yards splitting time between Denver and San Francisco. Even though he failed to catch a touchdown pass, he still had the tools to very productive.
One aspect of Davis’ game that is underrated is his blocking ability.
Davis excels as a run blocker. Obviously, it is unclear who will be Washington’s starting running back in 2016 since Alfred Morris signed with Dallas.
Davis also provides leadership for a team that is looking to repeat as NFC East champions after winning the division crown with a 9-7 record in 2015. With the Cowboys, Eagles, and New York Giants all making moves on the free agent market, the Redskins could definitely use another veteran presence in the locker room.
It’s a great story to see this former Dunbar High School product return home. It’s also a plus to have Davis just a stones throw away from College Park.
While Davis isn’t the star tight end he once was, Maryland fans will enjoy getting to watch him play week in and week out.