NFL news of December 9, 2002

Stephen Davis 2002 Washington Redskins throwback jerseys

Tailback Stephen Davis said yesterday there is a good chance his seven-year tenure with the Washington Redskins will be over after this season, although he would like to stay. The Redskins, according to NFL sources, are leaning strongly toward releasing the two-time Pro Bowl running back in the offseason for salary cap reasons, perhaps without even trying to renegotiate his contract.

…Davis, 28, is the first Redskins runner to have three consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons. But he would count slightly more than $11.4 million against the salary cap next season, and Coach Steve Spurrier has made it clear that he intends to have a passing-oriented offense. Sources said yesterday that the Redskins have not completely ruled out reworking Davis’s contract and retaining him, but they believe it’s likely that they will release Davis and go with less expensive running backs better suited to Spurrier’s offensive style.

“Most [running backs] don’t want to be in an offense where you’re going to throw the ball as much as Coach Spurrier does,” Davis said. “But I can’t worry about that. I’m under contract. If it gets worked out, it gets worked out. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’ll move on and try to help another team win.”

— The Washington Post “Davis’s Future as Redskin In Doubt”
Davis went to the Carolina Panthers for the 2003 season. He rushed for a career-high 1,444 yards and was a major contributor to their Super Bowl team. Spurrier was fired after the Redskins slumped to 5-11 in the 2003 season. Davis stayed with the Panthers through the 2005 season before one season with the Rams in the 2006. When he retired in 2008, he signed a one-day contract with the Panthers—not the Redskins, his team for his first seven seasons in the league.

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