Vontae Davis will play the 2018 NFL season in Western New York.
The veteran cornerback came to an agreement with the Buffalo Bills on a one-year deal Monday. This comes after he met with Buffalo as well as four other teams over the past 10 days. Davis chose the Bills over the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders.
Vontae Davis has picked his location. https://t.co/ITOyF1mQJl
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 27, 2018
Buffalo Bills to Sign Cornerback Vontae Davis
Normally, impending free agents must wait until the start of the new league year to consummate new contracts. But Davis is an exception since his previous team, the Indianapolis Colts, released him midseason in 2017. After opting to undergo season-ending groin surgery in November, the Colts decided to part ways.
That injury primarily contributed to one of his least effective years as a pro. Davis started only five games, registering 16 tackles and two pass breakups. He also failed to come up with an interception for the first time in his nine-year career.
Buffalo is hoping that a healthy Davis can recapture the form that made him one of the league’s top lockdown corners. During his six seasons in Indy, the 29-year-old tallied 13 interceptions and made the Pro Bowl twice. One of those seasons, in 2014, saw him lead the NFL with 27 passes defended.
Signing Davis brings a modicum of certainty to the position with three Bills corners, E.J. Gaines, Leonard Johnson and Shareece Wright, hitting the open market at the onset of free agency. Gaines came in the trade that sent Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams while Johnson and Wright signed one-year deals with the team last off-season.
Davis spent his first three seasons in the league with the Miami Dolphins. The team drafted him 25th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft after a standout career at Illinois where he made first-team All-Big Ten twice. He made an immediate impact, picking off four passes as a rookie and doing so once more in 2011.
What the Davis Addition Means for the Bills Secondary
Among the Bills’ biggest strengths during Sean McDermott‘s first season as head coach was its secondary. Tre’Davious White had one of the most impressive seasons from a rookie in the entire league. It showed in the fact that Pro Football Focus gave him the second highest grade among all league corners. And their tandem of safeties, Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, proved to be enormously valuable free agent signings in 2017. The hope is that despite his age and recent injury history, Davis can do the same this coming season.
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