Inherited a hot mess

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He led the Saints in tackles, with 8, in their win over Minnesota on Friday.

Talking about linebacker Demario Davis.

He often leads them in tackles.

After a big-time hit/tackle by Davis on a short run by Vikings RB Dalvin Cook, Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck said, “How this player gets away from the Jets is beyond me?”

It was beyond a lot of people.

And he wanted to come back.

Let’s go back to the 2018 off-season.

Davis, who was originally drafted by the Jets in the third-round of the 2012 draft, left in the 2016 off-season as a free agent, and signed a two-year deal with the Cleveland Browns.

In the 2017 off-season, the Browns hired Gregg Williams as their defensive coordinator, and they switched to a 4-3 defense, so they felt Davis was expendable, because they only needed one inside linebacker, and already had Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert, so they traded Davis to the Jets in June for safety Calvin Pryor.

Davis had a solid season for the Jets in 2017, and not only that, was a team leader, and helped the owner deal with the National Anthem issue that year, with Jets never kneeling, but instead locked arms.

But then, after the season, not only didn’t they re-sign him, they didn’t even make him an offer.

This was beyond strange. At least make an offer. He was shocked.

However, this was yet another of many strange decisions by the team’s former GM, Mike Maccagnan.

And Davis actually wanted to come back. The Jets weren’t exactly a desirable location at the time, but he liked being a Jet.

Why no offer?

It’s possible one reason was Davis fired agent Alan Herman, who is very close with Maccagnan, so perhaps this was a factor. Maccagnan could not have been thrilled that Davis fired his good friend.

Davis not getting an offer, was just one of many dubious decisions by the team’s former GM, who left Joe Douglas quite a dumpster fire to put out.

Davis has gone on to become a standout with the Saints. In a way it was the perfect spot. They needed a starting inside linebacker, but not only that, signing with New Orleans brought him back to his neck of the woods, with his hometown in Mississippi being close by.

Watching Davis play in New Orleans, is yet another reminder of the damage, the former GM, and his first¬†lieutenant, did to the Jets’ roster.

You can talk about reckless contracts like Trumaine Johnson, Le’Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley, but now you can also throw in trading up with Indianapolis in the first round, sending three valuable second round picks (who helped turn the Colts into a playoff contender), to pick a QB, who struggles reading defenses, and might not even be back next year.

And also throw in, him scaring off coaching candidate Matt Rhule in 2019, by demanding he hire Gregg Williams as his defensive coordinator.

Look, this isn’t easy to write, because I like Mike personally, but watching Davis play today hammered home once again, that the former GM perhaps didn’t do the best job in Florham Park.

But it looks like the Jets hit a home run with his replacement, Douglas, who nailed his first two draft picks big-time, in Mekhi Becton and Denzel Mims, and looks like he also landed a starting CB in the fifth-round in Bryce Hall.

So it looks like the Jets are in good hands now, but man did Douglas have a train wreck to clean up.

December 25, 2020

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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