Why the release of Vontae Davis shouldn’t excite the Chiefs (or anyone else)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 08: Marquise Goodwin
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 08: Marquise Goodwin /

Vontae Davis is now a free agent cornerback after the Indianapolis Colts set him free on Thursday, but given his injury status, he’s not likely to add much to any team if signed.

It’s possible, just possible, that Vontae Davis will be a new addition at cornerback for some team in the coming hours and days. The Indianapolis Colts decided to release Davis after enough of a prolonged groin injury and recent criticism and comments in recent days. The drama was likely the primary substance of any rift between the team and player, leading general manager Chris Ballard to let Davis walk.

The release of Davis midseason at a time where he could still technically play would almost always be considered a gift to the rest of the NFL. One team’s trash is always another’s treasure, especially when so many “poor performances” are really just about scheme fits. In a pass happy NFL, a player like Davis should have no problem finding a new home relatively quickly. However, Davis should be viewed through a different lens—one labeled “damaged goods.”

Davis has good reasons to be frustrated with the Colts, and for causing a bit of a ruckus on his way out. You can read the best breakdown here about everything, but suffice it to say, Davis was not happy about his treatment in recent weeks. Mostly it was about communication. Other teams might be prepared to better handle communication in the future for Davis, but it still doesn’t help the veteran corner get out on the field.

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When healthy, Davis is a corner with good size and speed, but a lingering groin injury has limited his play for several weeks. Davis himself admits he hasn’t been responding well to the treatment put in place by the training staff in Indy.

Davis has played in 5 games this year, all starts, and has 21 tackles and 0 interceptions to his name. Even before this year’s limited performance, Davis was already scheduled to be a free agent after this year and will turn 30-years-old this coming offseason. Even if Davis was healthy and back to normal, he was still declining year over year in production to the tune of the Colts taking three defensive backs in the first five rounds, including two straight picks atop the draft in safety Malik Hooker and cornerback Quincy Wilson.

Could Davis eventually heal up and provide some decent reps in the secondary in 2017? Absolutely. Perhaps some motivation to prove the Colts wrong might also generate some inspired play on the field. But the name recognition won’t likely match any level of on-field play going forward in 2017. That’s why the Chiefs, nor anyone else, should get that excited about potentially adding Davis this year.