September 30, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis (83) runs with the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Washington Redskins defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-22. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Redskins Offseason Preview: Fred Davis

Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis is set to become a free agent this offseason, and after leading the team in receiving yards before his season-ending injury last year, the Redskins presumably want to bring him back.

Although Niles Paul emerged in Davis’ absence Paul is most dominant when used as a flex player. Seeing how Washington lacks true passing-game threats beyond Pierre Garcon and Santana Moss, Bruce Allen and company would be best-served either tagging Davis or signing him to a contract.

It’s easy to point to Logan Paulsen and deem Davis expendable, but at 6’5, 261 pounds, he’s not much of a deep threat. Davis is leaner and quicker, and can stretch a defense lining up against slower linebackers and smaller safeties.

The other thing the Redskins need to keep in mind is injury risk. Davis himself reminded Washington last year that tight ends put themselves in the line of fire and are injury prone. If the Redskins were to rely strictly on Paul and Paulsen, should one go down, Mike Shanahan is relying on offensive linemen to be tight ends in an offense that relies primarily on speed. Davis is a key piece to this team, and although they won the division without him, he could be a piece they need to take the next step.

The franchise tag deadline is 4 PM EST, so we’ll see if the Redskins elect to tag Davis for a second consecutive year.

Tags: Washington Redskins

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