Tyeler Davison was one of the team’s bigger free agency gets of the 2019 offseason, and one of the few that have paid off in any meaningful way. Davison has played in all 32 games over the past two seasons, starting 27 of them, and has typically offered up solid run defense while playing about 50% of the defensive snaps. There’s value in that, but heading into this offseason, Davison was an obvious candidate to be cut given the fact that he was one of the few players who could offer the team any cap relief.
Per WSB-TV’s Zach Klein, who also broke the news of Matt Ryan’s contract restructure today, the Falcons will both try to get cap relief and retain Davison by redoing his deal. They’ll save about $2 million in cap space with the move, per Klein.
Per NFL league source... Falcons save 2 million in cap room.— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) March 16, 2021
Davison down was due 3.45M this year and Falcons cut him down by 2M to 1.45M and guaranteed 500k of it.
Davison’s 3rd year remains intact https://t.co/mFrlq0wKHp
Why Davison? The stout run stopper is likely being viewed as a quality piece of Dean Pees’ defense, given his ability to play multiple roles in a 3-4 front and to provide a solid early down presence in a 4-3. While he isn’t coming off his best year in Atlanta, Davison shouldn’t have any trouble finding a role, and if Atlanta can realize cap relief without cutting a useful player, that appears to be the role they’ll go down. Remember, John Cominsky, Marlon Davison, and Deadrin Senat have yet to prove anything in large roles, making Davison the only non-Grady Jarrett sure thing on the interior, even if he isn’t going to offer much as a pass rusher.
Given that the Falcons didn’t touch 2022 with this move, per Klein, this may still be Davison’s last year in Atlanta. The fact that he avoids the axe and will likely have a significant role on this defensive line means he can make his case to stick around on a re-worked deal next year or put together the kind of season that gets him a new contract if Atlanta does elect to move on.
This coupled with the change to Matt Ryan’s deal should tell you Atlanta does want to pursue some free agents when the new league year begins tomorrow at 4 p.m.