New York Jets Potential Free Agent: Fred Davis


Oct 14, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris (46) celebrates with tight end Fred Davis (83) after scoring a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports

It sounds like the Jets may be in search of Dustin Keller’s replacement after all.

Now that Dustin Keller has joined the Miami Dolphins, the question remains: Who is going to replace him? We haven’t heard much talk about the position, which would lead us to believe that the Jets would be turning the reigns at tight end over to Jeff Cumberland and company. As of Sunday night, maybe that is not so.

Last night, NFL insider Adam Schefter tweeted out that aside from the Bills and the Redskins, the Jets are interested in bringing tight end Fred Davis in for a chat and possible signing.  Let’s take a look at this guy.

Here are his career NFL stats:

Clearly, his overall numbers aren’t great, but he did have one year where he compared similarly to Dustin Keller was 2011. That year, Davis put up 59 receptions for 796 yards and 3 TDs, while Keller posted 65 receptions for 815 yards and 5 TDs. Let’s look at some in-depth grading, courtesy of our friends at Pro Football Focus.

We will use 2011, the peak of both careers.

Neither of these guys had great grades in 2011, but Davis led this battle with a 0.3.  Keller posted a -4.2.  In the passing game, Fred obliterated Dustin Keller with a 7.3 grade, opposed to Keller’s 0.1.  Davis also checked out as a better pass blocker, with a 0.9 grade, topping Keller’s 0.1.  Neither were great as run blockers, so we aren’t going to compare there.

Fred Davis also had a lower “drop rate”, posting a 4.84 %, with Keller’s just being a bit higher with a 5.80%.  Finally, we have talked about yards after the catch being very important in an offense like Mornhinweg’s.  Davis averaged 6.2 yards after catch per reception, while Keller was at 4.9.  Another statistical win for Davis.

So, what is the downside?

The only potential downside is the character issue.  Well, also the fact that he is coming off of an ACL issue from last year.  But the character issue is something not to ignore.  He was suspended for 4 games in 2011, for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.  He is also in the midst of fighting a civil suit filed by a woman who claimed they were assaulted by Davis, which is still ongoing.

If Fred Davis can keep his off the field behavior in check, he could be a great, and low cost, addition to the team.  He is certainly someone worth talking to.