Colts Re-Sign Vontae Davis
The Indianapolis Colts re-signed their own top free agent, cornerback Vontae Davis, to a four-year contract worth $39 million with $20 million in guarantees. The deal helped set the bar even higher for a robust cornerback market that has subsequently seen Aqib Talib garner $26 million in guarantees and Darrelle Revis receive another massive annual salary.
While Davis clearly has talent as well as the draft pedigree to back it up, he has never been a consistent performer. Despite playing in all 16 games this season, Davis tied a career low with just one interception in 2013, which wasn’t a great output for IDP leaguers. His interception total has never eclipsed four, and it has gone down each of the last two years.
The reason he ended up in Indianapolis in the first place was he wore out his welcome in of all places Miami, whose locker room has apparently been a safe haven for dysfunctional players. The only thing consistent about Davis in Miami was his character concerns. He violated team rules, started an on-field tussle with Brandon Marshall, and lost his starting job. At that point, even the Dolphins were done with him.
Despite this risk and inconsistency, a player of Davis’ talent level is probably worth the money that he received given how the market is paying the cornerback position this offseason. Miami was still able to get a second round pick for him when they traded him to the Colts in 2012, showing that his desirable NFL skill set outweighs any apprehension about his character. He earned a positive coverage grade from PFF, showing that his low interception total wasn’t necessarily indicative of his play.
For fantasy purposes, I would label Davis as a hold right now. While he has the skill set of a number one cornerback, his inconsistencies could be magnified if he rests on the laurels of his new contract. He also has failed to produce great individual defensive statistics despite a high-scoring Colts offense that forces other teams to throw the ball. He could start seeing a statistical increase in coming years, though, as Indianapolis only figures to improve on the defensive side of the ball.
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