Detroit Lions bring back linebacker Jarrad Davis after one season gone

Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

After one season with the New York Jets, former Lions’ first-round pick Jarrad Davis is coming back to Detroit.

One year ago or so, as the new regime in Detroit reshaped the roster, linebacker Jarrad Davis signed with the New York Jets in free agency. Now, after that one season away, the Detroit Lions have announced they’ve re-signed the 2017 first-round pick. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported it’s a one-year deal.

Upon taking the head coaching job with the Lions in 2021, though it wasn’t enough for them to keep him, Dan Campbell spoke highly of Davis to two different local outlets.

Via the Detroit Free Press, Campbell referencing his time as Saints’ tight ends coach.

"One of the first things I circled was, man, if we’re running inside zone and we’re running our 42 ace, our lead draw, and you’re leading on No. 40 (Davis), man, you better fricking be ready for him to drop his hat and hit you right under the chin,” Campbell said. “He will literally split your chin open and knock your hat off. So look, there’s there’s little things that you circle in there, just on guys that they had.”"

And via The Detroit News:

"Look, I can’t tell you what we’re going to do in free agency, but when you state it like that, Jarrad Davis, there’s something about that guy, man,” Campbell told the Detroit News last February. “Things I hear about the way he was coached, and just knowing the ability and aggressiveness, he intrigues me. He pops off the tape and you feel like, man, can we help this guy? Can we make this guy a better player?”"

Davis ultimately signed a one-year, fully guaranteed, $5.5 million deal with the Jets. The struggles he had toward the end of his Lions’ tenure continued in New York. A preseason ankle injury cost him the first eight games last season, and he registered just 25 tackles (zero tackles for loss) in the nine games he played (five starts).

Jarrad Davis getting redemption opportunity with the Lions?

The Lions drafted Davis 21st overall in the 2017 draft. He had 96 total tackles as a rookie, followed by his best season in 2018 (100 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, six sacks). Then an injury limited him to 11 games in 2019, and Matt Patricia phased him out in 2020 after his fifth-year option was not picked up.

With the Lions need at linebacker, some people may have seen Davis’ possible return as being in the cards entering the offseason. There’s a wide range out of outcomes for him as he competes for a role, from earning a starting job all the way down to not making it to Week 1 on the roster. But Campbell will now get a chance to coach a player he apparently wanted to coach from the start.

Next. Another metric shows what 2021 Detroit Lions lost to injuries. dark