The information was fast to come out regarding the Chargers’ acquisition of former Panthers LB Thomas Davis. Just this morning there was a tweet from Adam Schefter that hinted Davis would be on his way out west, but the details of this proposed union were widely regarded as make-or-break for this move.
Three-time Pro Bowl LB Thomas Davis intends to sign with the LA Chargers, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2019
Thanks to Tom Pelissero, we now have an idea of what the Chargers offered that brought Davis across the country:
The #Chargers gave former #Panthers LB Thomas Davis a two-year, $10.5 million deal that includes $5.25M guaranteed in 2019. Trigger: a $1M roster bonus due next March.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 12, 2019
Deals like this are often considered prove-it deals (with benefits!), where the team offers enough to bring a player in, and holds the cards for an additional year if the experiment works. In all, the numbers seem to line up with what the Chargers are looking for: a veteran LB that is still performing at an above-average level.
Most of the positives of Davis center around his 14 (soon to be 15) years of experience in the NFL. His 35 (soon to be 36) years on this Earth were the largest concern. That said, Davis was also punished for PED use last season, and he has three ACL tears to his name. There is certainly reason to be cautious, but at the same time there are upsides to the same player: he has Super Bowl experience, he has only missed a handful of games since 2013, and he was a very productive member of the Panthers last year (and many before that, as well).
This move helps ease the pressure on getting one super-splash player to fill the holes in their roster. They now have a veteran that could and should play a lot of snaps, but the flexibility to consider further free agents and, of course, draft picks.
Coming off of successful 2018 campaigns, the Chargers and Chiefs are playing a much more toned-down game of wait-and-see when compared to their AFC West counterparts. I think that everyone in the room assumes that the Raiders are far from done with their surprises, and the Broncos seem to surprise everyone when we least expect it.
-Jason “5.25 Million Photoshop Job” Michaels