Jesse Davis is the highest-paid offensive lineman on the Miami Dolphins roster. The Dolphins could save money by cutting him but they shouldn’t.
In 2021, Jess Davis, a backup guard and tackle, will take up $4.5 million of the Dolphins cap. In the overall scheme of things, his contract is pretty good, but he is not a starter despite starting almost every game he has played in during his four years with the Dolphins. No, Jesse Davis is supposed to be a backup.
Releasing Davis would save the Dolphins $2.85 million with a little lower carryover. If Miami cuts after June 1st, they would save $3.8 million. Naturally, it is easy to see why many fans want him to be released but here is the thing, Jesse Davis is, indeed, a starter.
The Dolphins keep drafting players to build their offensive line but somehow, Davis ends up back in as the starter. Davis has a lot of value for the Dolphins. He can play multiple roles, knows what the coaches want, and he has only been in the league for 4 years.
Davis is a smart football player and while he isn’t going to win any Pro Bowl nods or All-Pros he will get better as he gets older. Consider that in his career which started in 2017, he has missed only one game. He started 10 games his rookie season, 16 the next, and 15 last two years.
Davis has taken 3,694 snaps for the Dolphins. In the last three years, he has taken 100%, 91%, and 99% of the snaps and another 243 snaps on special teams.
In 2021, Davis is supposed to be on the bench. Robert Hunt and Solomon Kindley will start at guard and Austin Jackson and Liam Eichenberg will start outside with Matt Skura at center. But when the Dolphins need to put someone in the game, Davis is the one who will trot onto the field.
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In his career, he has one holding penalty in each of those 4 seasons. In 2018, he struggled with 5 false starts but had only one last year and two the year before that. Overall, he has had 13 penalties called on him in four years, five of those were the false starts of 2018.
His contract isn’t much to worry about and he may not be the best lineman in the Dolphins offense but he is experienced and knows the expectations of the NFL. It seems funny when you talk about him mentoring the younger players but all those guys mentioned above have less than two years’ experience, sans Skura.
Earlier this year I speculated that he should be cut but that was wrong. Davis has a lot of value to this team and Miami has plenty of other players they can get rid of before dipping into Davis’ numbers.