Indianapolis Colts Acquire CB Vontae Davis: Major Upgrade or Waste of Picks?
The Indianapolis Colts acquired former 1st round corner back Vontae Davis from the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
I, like nearly everyone else, has been predicting that the Colts would make a move via trade to help shore up their secondary. This maybe wasn’t quite the move we had been expecting however.
The biggest thing Colts fans have to wonder: Is this the major upgrade the secondary needs, or did Grigson & Co. give up to much for a potential rental player?
No one has questioned the fact that Vontae Davis has talent. The brother of fellow 1st round draft pick tight end Vernon Davis, he was drafted #25 overall out of Illinois in 2009. in his first 3 seasons with Miami, he has totaled 148 tackles, 9 interceptions (1 returned for a touchdown), 32 passes defended, and a forced fumble.
The questions come from his maturity (or lack thereof). Reports that have been released following yesterday’s trades include issues regarding Davis’ work ethic and off the field issues. Davis also allegedly showed up to practice drunk once. All this led to his demotion to the second unit in Miami, and his eventual trade to Indianapolis.
Davis is in the last year of his rookie contract, so he’s playing for a big pay day. That could motivate him to be the type of player the Colts need him to be to make this a worthwhile investment. Indianapolis surrendered a second round pick and a conditional late-round pick in next year’s draft. The math is simple.
If Davis plays well (well, in my opinion, would be about what he’s averaged his first three years – about 50 tackles and 3-4 interceptions), stays out of trouble and commits himself, than obviously the Colts will try and resign him. If he flames out, the Colts are out a second round pick that could be crucial to putting more talent into a team that sorely lacks depth right now.
Assuming Davis plays well enough to re-sign, the Colts will have to dedicate a good chunk of their $43 million cap space to sign him to a long term deal. The average salary for a corner back in the NFL is about $1.2 million, give or take. But there is a big leap from the average salary to the kind of cash it would take to sign Davis to a long term deal.
The top earning corner this year is Philadelphia’s Nnamdi Asomugha, who will rake in a base salary of $11 million. The average of the top 5 salaries (in the event of a franchise tag) totals about $8.7 million. The average of the top 10 corners is only slightly less, coming in at around $7.4 million. I would guess that the number the Colts would have to meet would be somewhere in the middle, or roughly $8 million per year on average, probably for a 4 or 5 year deal. So that’ll lock in approximately 20% of the Colts cap room, depending on how the numbers are shuffled.
If Davis winds up sucking, the Colts are only out his 2012 salary ($957,000) but lose at least one, if not two crucial picks. I honestly believe the Colts gave up too much for Davis, but the Jerraud Powers injury scared them into making the move now and giving Miami a bit more than the risk warranted.
It could work out, but if not, it will be the first big black eye in the Grigson regime.
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