Adam Shefter reports the Cleveland Browns are on the look out for a tight end and have their sights set on Fred Davis as the solution to their problem.
One league source familiar with thinking of Washington free-agent TE Fred Davis said Redskins and Browns "are serious about signing him."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2013
The Browns have a young team and entered free agency with a lot of cap space and have already spent a fair chunk of it on linebackers Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves and defensive lineman Desmond Bryant. The Browns also signed TE Gary Barnidge, but he is correctly viewed as a backup and would not deter the Browns from pursuing Davis.
Davis, a 2008 2nd round draft pick by the Redskins, has caught 155 passes for 1973 yards [12.7] and 12 TD over the course of his 5-year career. Last year he led the Redskins with 24 catches for 325 yards before he tore his Achilles Tendon on October 21 in the first half of a week 7 game in New Jersey against the Giants.
In addition to last season's serious injury, Davis does come with some baggag, having been suspended for the final four games of the 2011 season for repeatedly testing positive for a banned substance, though to be marijuana. However, Davis is very productive, averaging 1.96 yards per route run in 2012, near the top of all tight ends in the NFL.
Davis is from Ohio -- Toledo, actually -- and told 92.3 FM, a local radio station, that going back to Ohio would be his preference if he does not return to Washington.
"A place like Cleveland, that would be awesome, too, to represent your home state," said Davis.
It is not clear how much money the Redskins plan to spend on Davis, but the team will have to be creative to re-sign him and still have enough money left over to find a cornerback in free agency.
If the Redskins do lose Davis they would still have Logan Paulsen -- recently re-signed -- who became the starting tight end the final nine games of the 2012 season after Davis' injury. In addition, the team moved Niles Paul from wideout to tight end in 2012, but his first season at the new position was rocky and it isn't clear how much the Redskins want to depend on Paul at tight end.