Jarrad Davis and the Lions looking to benefit from second chance together

SideLion Report

Jarrad Davis is coming back to the Lions, and the second chance he’s getting could be mutually beneficial.

Drafted by the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 2017 draft (21st overall), Jarrad Davis started his career pretty well. After posting 96 total tackles (second on the team) as a rookie, he had a full breakout in 2018 (100 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, six sacks).

Then an injury cost Davis five games in 2019, his fifth-year option was not picked up and in 2020 he was phased out by the previous coaching staff. But upon being hired as Lions head coach Dan Campbell still had high praise for Davis.

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 told the Detroit News last February (2021). “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?”

The New York Jets signed Davis to a one-year, $5.5 million deal last offseason. But a change of scenery wasn’t helpful, as a preseason injury delayed the start of his season and he wasn’t productive when he did play (25 tackles in nine games). So he’s back in Detroit on a one-year deal, with a second chance.

Lions general manager Brad Holmes thinks Jarrad Davis is still a good fit

The Lions notably re-signed Alex Anzalone, while fellow unrestricted free agent Jalen Reeves-Maybin left for the Houston Texans. The additions of Davis and Chris Board have added competition and depth to the linebacking corps.

Speaking about Davis, Lions general manager Brad Holmes confirmed they were priced out of retaining him last offseason but it was easy to circle back this offseason.

We weren’t able to afford to bring him back, we wanted to,” Holmes said of the Lions’ efforts to retain Davis last year. “We did get priced out.”

I think everybody deserves second chances,” Holmes said earlier this week at the Annual League Meeting. “We did see some things on tape that encouraged us to think that he’d be a good fit here.”

The league-minimum contract Davis got ($1.035 million base salary) confirms he is not guaranteed anything in his return to Detroit. But both sides are optimistic about a full second chance together, and Davis certainly has an opportunity to earn a prominent role.

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