How much would it cost to keep Corey Davis?


Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis, left, pushes off Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

It was deadline day for teams to pick up the 5th year options on 2017 1st round picks.

It was no surprise this week that the Titans picked up the $10-million option on cornerback Adoree Jackson but did not pick up the whopping $15.68-million option on wide receiver Corey Davis.

No, this does not mean Davis is terrible, is a bust or the Titans do not like him, what it means is that price tag is simply too high.

Davis went 5th overall in 2017 and that means he would have to be paid the average salary of the top 10 players at his position for the 2021 season and no he has not produced like one of the top 10 wide receivers in the NFL.

I can hear the snickers now. No, he has not lived up to the expectations of a player selected 5th overall, but again, that does not mean he is a bad player. He can produce, can make make tough catches, produce big plays, game winning plays as well play physically down field.

Tennessee Titans’ Corey Davis (84) makes a catch against Indianapolis Colts’ Kenny Moore (42) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The question I want to talk about here is, what is he worth?

Just because the Titans did not pick up the option for 2021 does not mean they do not want him on the team in 2021, it just means they can not justify doing it for over $15-million bucks.

So, how much could they pay him? How much is he reasonably worth? What would be a fair offer to him to get him back playing side by side AJ Brown for 3 more seasons.?

You may not agree, but I like that combination for three more years.

So, to figure out what he is “worth” we have to see what other players are actually getting. The two comps we have are Robby Anderson with the Panthers and DeVante Parker with the Dolphins. No, neither of them were the 5th pick of the draft, but that is not the comparison, we are comparing production to determine pay.

Corey Davis –

2017 – 34 Rec. 375 Yards

2018 – 65 Rec. 891 Yards

2019 – 43 Rec. 601 Yards

DeVante Paker –

2015 – 26 Rec. 494 Yards

2016 – 56 Rec. 744 Yards

2017 – 57 Rec. 670 Yards

2018 – 24 Rec. 309 Yards

Robby Anderson –

2016 – 42 Rec. 587 Yards

2017 – 63 Rec. 941 Yards

2018 – 50 Rec. 752 Yards

2019 – 52 Rec. 779 Yards

Note that Parker’s stats go up until 2018, that is when he was awarded a new contract. Let us look at all of those deals.

Parker got a 4-year, $30.5-million deal or the equivalent of $7.625-million per season. He got $10.8-million guaranteed at signing.

Anderson just got a 2-year deal from Carolina in free agency worth $20-million. That is $10-million a year with $8-million guaranteed at signing.

So, judging by those statistics we can make a reasonable assessment that he should fall into the salary range of these players which is $7.625-million to $10-million per season.

That has NOTHING to do with being the 5th overall pick, it has to do with comparable production.

Here is a good starting point, with inflation from where Parker signed his deal in 2019, offer Davis a deal worth approximately $32-million over 4-years with yes, $15.68-million guaranteed. That covers the amount he would have got had his 5th year option been picked up and it would allow the Titans to spread it over 3 or 4 years.

Is that enough to keep him? I don’t know.

Does he want to stay or does he feel greater opportunity is elsewhere? I don’t know.

What I know is this, if the Titans want to keep him I think based on “street value” that would be a fair deal for both sides.

Davis has proven to be a tough player. He has missed only one game over the last two years and teammates indicated he played much of last year with a turf toe injury.

I also think he has untapped production. I watch all of the home games from the press box and I am not sure if it was simply Ryan Tannehill’s affinity for AJ Brown, who could blame him, or just some early chemistry issues, but I saw Davis wide open and the ball simply did not go his way on more than one occasion.

Does that mean I think Ryan Tannehill “held him back”? Absolutely not, it means I think more productive days are ahead for the both of them and Tannehill indicated the exact same thing in his video chat with us last week.

If you do not want Corey Davis back in 2021 that is fine.

If you want him back in 2021 and beyond that is fine too.

I just wanted to try and spell out financially what could work and to me it is about $8-million to $9-million a year.

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