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Fred Davis still confident, still looking for right deal

Robert Griffin III, Fred Davis OTA

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, left, and teammate Fred Davis, both coming back from injuries, warm up as the Redskins conduct an offseason NFL football practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn Va., Thursday, May 23, 2013. (AP Photo/The Washington Post, John McDonnell) WASHINGTON TIMES OUT; NEW YORK TIMES OUT;THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER AND USA TODAY OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES.


For all the offseason struggles of free agents to get paid, tight ends were actually getting long-term deals at a surprising clip.

But yet again, that happened without Fred Davis, so the Redskins tight end feels like he has show something during a third straight contract drive.

I feel like I’ve got to prove myself again,” Davis said, via Nathan Fenno of the Washington Times. “Everything I’ve done before doesn’t matter.”

Part of it is self-inflicted. His substance-abuse suspension derailed negotiations for a long-term deal, as the Redskins used the franchise tag on him after the 2011 season. Then last year, he tore his left Achilles tendon, forcing a physical rehab that was more damaging to his market value. He ultimately signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract to return, after a trip to Buffalo didn’t yield what he was hoping for. That’s far off the deals signed by Jared Cook, Delanie Walker, Martellus Bennett and Anthony Fasano signed this offseason.

“Kind of, not really, not close,” Davis replied, when asked how close he was to leaving. “I was waiting for an offer, . . . I don’t think it reached the point I needed [with the Bills].”

The Redskins retained backup Logan Paulsen this offseason, and used a third-round pick on Jordan Reed, something that didn’t faze Davis.

“I know what I’m going to do,” Davis said. “I don’t know what that means for the second tight end.”

That kind of confidence, coupled with his outstanding talent, should have earned him a long-term contract before. Now, he has yet another chance to prove himself worthy of one.