While the New York Jets have probably given up willingly on re-signing Demario Davis, the linebacker has plenty of suitors; at least four teams have shown interest in him, among them the Cleveland Browns and the Buffalo Bills.
Davis is visiting with the Browns, who haven’t had much success in free agency, mostly bleeding out talent to the rest of the league while players can’t wait to get away. However, what they do have to offer, besides some new hope with a new head coach (feels like every year there’s new hope there), is money. They have over $41 million in cap space available, and might be looking to trade left tackle Joe Thomas, which means $9.5 million more freed up, although the caliber of players left on the market isn’t that high.
The Bills connection is obvious with Rex Ryan, who thought very highly of Davis while he was coaching in New York, comparing Davis to Ray Lewis. Davis, who played in all 64 games for the Jets since being drafted in 2012 out of Arkansas State, started in all 16 games the last three seasons. He did well at inside linebacker in 2013 and 2014 with over 100 tackles in each season, but his pass coverage, never the strongest part of his game, evidently slipped in 2015, resulting in Todd Bowles giving him a lot less time on the field, sharing snaps with Erin Henderson. He played in 81% of the snaps, the lowest since his rookie season, and his 16 missed tackles was another career high he would have rather not reached.
The Jets haven’t closed the door on bringing Davis back but Henderson is also a free agent and they prefer keeping him than Davis, not to mention Davis’ demands are probably higher than what the Jets (who currently have just $2.2 million in cap space) are willing to offer. Davis made $2.8 million over his first four years in the league, and is looking for a substantial raise, which he’s probably going to get seeing as he has no injury problems and can obviously fill a need for a number of teams.