Good morning, Broncos Country!
As the Broncos prepare for free agency opening in a little over a month, there’s a lot of chatter about who to keep, who to cut and who to try and sign from another team (cough Byron Jones cough).
But somehow Todd Davis’ name has come up as a potential cut, saving John Elway a whopping $5-6 million next season if he chooses not to exercise Davis’ option for 2020. Since the Broncos will have roughly $60 million in cap space, and possibly closer to $80 million if they cut Joe Flacco loose, saving a couple mil on a key inside linebacker is hardly worth it.
Keep Todd Davis on the roster
The inside linebacker, who will enter his seventh year in the NFL, tallied 134 tackles in 2019, leading the team for a third season - and that was after missing the first two games with a calf injury sustained in training camp.
He also became the second half of what turned into an outstanding inside linebacker tandem with Alexander Johnson. After the Broncos’ defense had an abysmal showing against the Jaguars in Week 4, Johnson was moved up the roster, and he and Davis made sure another opponent did not get 269 yards on the ground against them.
Since everyone is reaching milestones ... Todd Davis is now 6th on the Broncos' all-time list in single-season tackles. Has 135 — and there's still 3:55 remaining in this game.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) December 30, 2019
He's chasing D.J. Williams' 141 in 2007.
And it worked.
Davis and Johnson held Chargers’ Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon to just 38 rushing yards the following week and Titans’ running phenom Derrick Henry to just 28 yards in Week 6. And after Week 5, opposing offenses only averaged more than 3.1 yards per carry Opponents have averaged more than 3.1 yards per carry just once since Week 5 against Los Angeles.
While Johnson was a pleasant surprise with bursting speed and powerful tackling, he credited his rather smooth entry into the starting role with his counterpart’s on-field communication to help him out.
“[I was] just telling him what I see and communicating and talking before every play,” Davis said back in November. “I think communication is key for any linebackers, but especially young linebackers.”
And a big credit for Davis being able to step right back into his leadership role on the field after missing all of preseason and the first two weeks of the regular season. As No. 51 noted, a Vic Fangio-led defense is no joke. Everything is always changing, so “you have to be on your toes.”
“I wouldn’t say the scheme overall is complex more than others I’ve played in. I would just say that week in and week out, we change a lot more than I have in the past,” Davis said last November. “Nobody can ever call you dumb if you played for Vic Fangio. You definitely have to be in your toes and be ready to adjust because he’s going to throw something new at you.”
Hey remember when everyone complained that the #Broncos couldn't defend tight ends?— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) December 11, 2019
According to DVOA, the Fangio D is a top 10 unit against them, and also a 4 D defending the middle of the field.
Even if Littleton ends up a Bronco, keep Davis
There are rumblings that LA Rams’ inside linebacker Cory Littleton may be allowed to test free agency waters rather than get re-signed. And if the Broncos could sign him away for a steal, Littleton would most likely replace Davis in the lineup.
But even if this dream comes true for the Broncos, having Davis on the roster is really good insurance. He knows the defense, he’s a solid tackler, and injuries are a beast, so you never know when a backup is necessary. Knowing Davis is there to pick up the slack if needed, would be a really nice thing to know.
And while we’re on the subject, I love me some Danny Trevathan, but I would not sign him at the expense of Davis. Trevathan has been hurt more than he’s been healthy, and Davis’ production is trending up while Trevathan’s is questionable.
What would you do about Todd Davis in 2020?
This poll is closed
Keep him on the roster!
He’s replaceable; I would rather add more money to the cap.
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