The team that never seems quite satisfied with its roster, no matter how deep it appears to others, has struck again, as the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots on Monday morning acquired speedy wide receiver Andre' Davis from the Cleveland Browns for an undisclosed draft choice. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that pick is a fifth-round selection in the 2006 draft.
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Rec Yds TD Avg Long YAC
16 416 2 26.0 99 134
"Whatever I can do, I'm going to make sure that I do it to the best of my ability and make sure that I'm a smart player because I know [Patriots coach] Bill Belichick wants smart players," Davis said.
Cleveland officials last week granted Davis' agent, Kennard McGuire, permission to seek out trade possibilities with other clubs. It is not known yet if the trade was a product of McGuire's efforts or resulted from discussions between the two clubs.
Davis, 26, had been the subject of trade speculation for several months, with the Seattle Seahawks regarded as the team most interested in his services. The Seahawks twice tried to deal for Davis in the offseason. They attempted to have the Browns include him in the deal that brought quarterback Trent Dilfer to Cleveland, then raised the possibility of a deal again last month.
A three-year veteran, Davis averaged 26.0 yards per catch in 2004, but appeared in only seven games because of a toe injury. Browns first-year head coach Romeo Crennel said recently that Davis was having only an average training camp and the signing of first-round wide receiver Braylon Edwards to his first contract after a lengthy holdout knocked him further down the depth chart.
The Browns now appear set at wide receiver, with Dennis Northcutt, Antonio Bryant and Edwards holding down the top three spots. It was obvious in recent days that Davis no longer fit into the Browns' plans for 2005.
A former Virginia Tech star, Davis is the third veteran wide receiver signed by the Pats since the end of last season, joining David Terrell and Tim Dwight. When healthy, he is an explosive player, as evidenced by a career average of 15.2 yards per reception. Davis was a second-round choice in the 2002 draft.
"He's got some size. He's a fast guy," Belichick said of Davis. "He's got some experience on special teams. We'll put him into the mix and see what he can do."
In 39 career appearances, including 19 starts, Davis has 93 receptions for 1,412 yards and 13 touchdowns. His ratio of one touchdown every 7.2 receptions is excellent. Davis can also return kickoffs and has a 21.3-yard career average and one touchdown. He tied an NFL record for longest touchdown reception in history with a 99-yard catch against the Cincinnati Bengals last Oct. 17.
Teams seem to be bending over backwards to give away players to a dynasty. Some people are convinced that the Pats might take a step back, I think they can get even better. Their offense could be very potent before too long because teams keep giving them high pick busts or malcontents that get better when they play in that system...