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Redskins Phasing Out Fred Davis?

4:46 PM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
Davis in the open field against the Eagles (USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES)
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ASHBURN, Va. (WUSA) -- It's surprising Fred Davis hasn't earned the nickname "Stock Exchange." Now in his sixth season with the franchise, perhaps no player on the roster has endured a more tumultuous tenure than the Redskins tight end.

Davis was suspended for marijuana in 2011 and has dealt with a publicly open trial in which he was accused of throwing a drink on a woman. Recently he was ordered to pay that woman $20,000 in damages.

As troubling as his off the field incidents have been, Davis is now finding himself in an even bigger battle: staying on the football field and off the bench.

In the Redskins first two games it's been clear that Mike Shanahan and company have favored rookie tight end Jordan Reed over Davis. Reed has eight catches on nine targets and saw 29 snaps against Green Bay. Davis has three catches on six targets and saw the field on only 16 snaps against the Packers.

Multiple attempts to try and get a two minute interview with Davis on Wednesday were blocked by the Redskins. The tight end put his situation on blast Tuesday on the Lavar and Dukes show on 106.7 The Fan. Arrington asked Davis if he's being phased out of the offense.

"Shoot, man, I feel like personally I did everything I was supposed to do for it not to be [this] way. I came off of injury, went through the whole training camp -- didn't ask for [any] days off -- played every preseason game. You know, did every thing I was supposed to do."

Davis continued: "They got us all mixed in a rotation right now. It's like everyone getting playing time. Right now I don't feel like I'm getting enough as I want to." And later added: "I can only do what I can control."

He can be sneaky with his answers, but Mike Shanahan was pretty direct in his Wednesday press conference on why the team prefers Jordan Reed over Davis at the moment.

"Most of the decisions we make are based on how people practice and what gives us the best opportunity to win," said the Redskins head coach. 

The soft spoken Reed had this to add about his increased playing time: "I run pretty good routes...here they are going to use you to the best of your abilities. So they use me on routes and things." Reed later added: "Fred is still starting."

Let's remember that last season before his gruesome Achilles injury against the Giants, Davis was Robert Griffin's leading pass catcher, a dynamic option over the middle of the field and was arguably having his best season. Let's also remember this: Davis is now 27-years-old, and in a contract season. It's quite possible the Redskins may be limiting his reps on the field to low-ball him an offer as a backup. Or if Davis was receiving the reps Reed has been getting -- and scoring touchdowns -- the Redskins may have no choice but to pay the free agent. If they value Reed just as highly as Davis, he comes as a much cheaper solution. Let's also remember Shanahan selected Reed, while Davis is part of the final leftover batch of Vinny Cerrato draft picks.

Ultimately, the best passing teams in the league possess multiple weapons from the tight end spot. One could argue the Patriots revolutionized the position with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Two athletic tight ends together on the field can work in the NFL. Even though it's early in the season, it seems as if Shanahan has put Davis in his doghouse and there's no telling if and when he will get out.

As the course of this make or break season drags on for Fred Davis, we'll find out a ton about how the organization views him. Are mental mistakes like drops and poor route running keeping him off the field? Or are the Shanahan's just ready to pass the torch to Jordan Reed, a guy some believe may have pro bowl talent.

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