Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

22 Aug 2005

Browns Send Andre Davis to Patriots

If you believe the numbers we use here at Football Outsiders, the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer. As our friend Corey mentioned at the Pro Football Prospectus book signing in Chicago, Andre Davis has put up some surprisingly good numbers in Cleveland despite having a less-than-stellar group of quarterbacks throwing him the ball. Corey also blogged on the subject here. Now the Browns have traded Davis to the Patriots for a draft pick in a move that seems to make a lot more sense for the Patriots than it does for the Browns.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 22 Aug 2005

33 comments, Last at 23 Aug 2005, 8:50pm by Oswlek


by Andy Reid (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 2:50pm


by B (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 2:50pm

Since Davis will be a free agent next year, and the Browns are rebuilding, so I an see why this makes sense for them. Crennel didn't sound too impressed by him in camp, and it's better to get some value out of him now as opposed to getting nothing next year.

by RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 2:50pm

It's happening...again....the NE coordinators have been dispatched and are sending sacrifices back to the mother ship. I wonder what ND will send to NE? Maybe that delightful little bearded fellow with the funny shoes.

by Ferg (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 3:05pm

Andra and Andre are no longer on the same team? This is a sad day.

by Jon, hanging on like a yoyo (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 3:15pm

Something seems slightly amiss here...who's going to be the odd receiver out? Either David Terrell's injury is more serious than they're saying, or Tim Dwight is as dumb as his reputation, or, more likely, Troy Brown and/or Bethel Johnson are about to have lots of Andrew Ridgely-esque time to reflect upon their success.

by KSR (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 3:18pm

I'm not entirely sure I understand this move, I'm guessing that there are some injury or other problems that we're not aware of. I had the reciever position pegged as one of the most competitive for the Patriots, and picking up another reciever seems to be superfluous. However, Terrell, Sam and Johnson haven't played at all and haven't shown anything, so maybe it does make sense. Also, according to Chris Mortensen, the Pats gave up a 5th rounder for him, which seems a little high, although they did have an extra one kicking around from their draft day trading. What do people who follow the Browns think about Davis?

by Jon (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 3:32pm

Re: 6
I agree, KSR, & I wonder who (if anyone) the Patriots were bidding against. I can think of several other contenders with fewer proven receivers (cough*kansascity*cough).

by kjbad (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 3:41pm

Seattle should have locked this guy up a few seasons ago, but never got the deal done. Cleveland has some interesting moves under their belt, but they can't blame this one on Butch Davis.

by El Angelo (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 4:14pm

I like it for the Browns. Davis was clearly not going to be around in 2006, they're going nowhere for at least another year or two, so why not get a pick? It'd be tougher to trade him during the season, methinks, as you'd think his stats would stink given the QB situation in Cleveland.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 4:39pm

Re: 6

I'm a Browns fan and think a lot of Davis. He's had trouble staying healthy for the last two years but when he's been available he was their best receiver, IMO. Great speed, very athletic, average hands, willing blocker.

If the Pats just gave up a 5th rounder, I think they made a nice move, even if he's only there for a year. Of course, if he has success there, he's likely to at least consider staying with them anyway.

by Teddy (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 5:01pm

This certainly marks the end for Bethel, as they now have replacements for his two main skills--Dwight for KR and Davis as a deep threat.

I imagine that Sam would follow him out the door, and the they'll go with only 3 RBs (Dillon/Faulk/Pass) to balance things out. Expect to see Troy Brown get 10 carries in a game at some point as result, with the Pats winning anyway.

by Adam H (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 5:30pm

Maybe Belichick will convert him into a defensive end or something.

by Pat on the Back (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 5:49pm

I have to agree with Teddy on this one. I was pretty sure they were phasing Bethel Johnson out when they signed a bunch of potential return guys, and now with this trade for a speedy reciever I'm positive he is gone.

In an effort to make things harder on sportswriters everywhere, the Pats have changed positional designations for each player from the confusing and limited current form (DE, T, QB, WR) to a much simpler binary system (BigGuy, SmallGuy), thus eliminating the inevitable stream of article written about the Patriots' creative use of personell. Somewhere, Skip Bayless is crying.

by Dan Babbitt (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 7:19pm

I like this move too, for the Pats. Davis has done well when healthy. They gave up a 5th round pick in 2006 and during the draft in April they traded for a 5th rounder in 2006 so it may have been that pick (either way it's from a stack).

Davis was in the same draft as Branch and Givens, so if this does work out than it's another coup for BB/Pioli.

Bethel is on the pre-season PuP and could go on the regular season PuP (moving the final decision back 6 games into the season). BB said today that Terrell will play on Friday. We haven't heard much about PK Sam in this pre-season though.

by Dan Babbitt (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 7:20pm


Don't forget about Ellis Hobbs for kick returner. He looked very good doing it against the Bengals the other night.

by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 8:00pm

I don't usually have trouble with these sorts of things, but I always find myself confusing Andre Davis, Andra Davis, Andre Johnson...they might as well be the same guy to me.

At least Andre Dawson and Avery Johnson are retired.

Why can't my Bears ever fleece other teams like this?

by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 9:48pm

I always liked how he had his whole name on his uniform.

He was attracting interest from the Eagles, along with Robert Ferguson, Peter Warrick and Peerless Price.

(Me? I wish they had reunited Kevin Johnson with Donny; I have no idea why the Lions needed him.)

by Glenn (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 9:54pm

The Pats are stocked with bodies at WR, but if Belichick sees an opportunity to improve the team with another at the right price - knocking someone onto the street in the process - he won't hesitate to do so. This has been his mantra for years.

When the pre-season games are done, all the guys cut from the Patriots could make up the core of a pretty decent expansion team.

by charles (not verified) :: Mon, 08/22/2005 - 10:25pm

RE 3:
co-sign, i'm just waiting for saban to send the patriots chris chambers for a conditional pick and a candy bar.

by MarkB (not verified) :: Tue, 08/23/2005 - 12:01am

On the radio today, Pioli said they've been following Davis since his draft year. He certainly didn't talk like they were just bringing him in to compete.

Bethel Johnson, we hardly knew ye. Fast, and dumb as a post.

by Nathan (not verified) :: Tue, 08/23/2005 - 12:38am

A 5th rounder? For Andre Davis?

Half the league should have made that trade, why do the Pats get him?!

Couldn't the Eagles have given up a pick for him?!

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 08/23/2005 - 8:20am

Based on what I've read, the Pats offered the most for Davis. Seattle wouldn't go higher than a 6th rounder and Philly offered a 7 that might have become a 5th (presumably based on playing time).

The Eagles knew their offer was outbid but apparently weren't concerned. I guess they've got another plan in mind.

by MadPenguin (not verified) :: Tue, 08/23/2005 - 8:39am

I watched Davis in college, and kept an eye on him in the nfl. In my opinion, this is a very good pick up for the patriots, especially if he is healthy all year.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Tue, 08/23/2005 - 10:12am

The Eagles knew their offer was outbid but apparently weren’t concerned. I guess they’ve got another plan in mind.
I'm pretty sure that Andy Reid is reluctant to pick up free agent receivers who did not play some variation of the West Coast Offense. So the low bid from the Eagles isn't too surprising.

After watching last night's Seattle-Dallas game, I'd say Reid can count on Mike Holmgren cutting some receivers who can run WCO routes. (They may drop the pass, but the Eagles are used to a certain amount of that anyway.)

by HimBruno (not verified) :: Tue, 08/23/2005 - 10:19am

I am a Browns fan (yeah I admit it).

With Edwards drafted 3rd overall, Bryant and Northcutt having great camps and pre-season performances, Davis was losing ground on the depth chart fast.

Bryant and Davis were up for new contracts at the end of the 05 season.
It would have been hard to sign both.

With the emergence of undrafted rookie surprise Josh Cribbs as a punt/kickoff returner (35 yrds avg) Davis also lost his special teams position.

It's worthy to mention undrafted rookie WR Brandon Rideau (sp?) has had a phenominal camp.

Also keeping Davis healthy was a challenge.

Davis wasn't a "malcontent" but he was unhappy about slipping down the depth chart, and it showed in practice with his lack of effort.

The trade was smart on the part of the Browns (trade him while he has value, or let him hit FA after the season and get nothing).
The Pat's get a real speedster with good hands. So its a win, win, win situation for the Browns, Pats, and Davis IMHO.

But if the "5th rounder" rumor is true... The Browns could have done better I think. They may have pulled the trigger on the deal a little prematurely, and should have held out to get a 3rd or at least a 4th rounder.

One last note:
As a Browns fan, it is nice to have too much tallent in a position... for once.

OMG did I say "too much tallent"?

by Teddy (not verified) :: Tue, 08/23/2005 - 12:12pm

Re: 15

Yeah, I'd forgotten about Hobbs. Geez, think Bill noticed that the return game sucked last year?

by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Tue, 08/23/2005 - 1:37pm


Just maybe....:)
Seriously, I think BB is just snatching up all the wide receivers so there's no way they can practice with any other team. :) He figures, "Hey, if every WR is in our camp, they won't get a chance to study other teams styles, and they'll be behind the curve."

Damn that shady sneaky sly BB. :D

by geoff (not verified) :: Tue, 08/23/2005 - 2:05pm

Patriots carried 6 WR last year... because the position is so competitive, one would think they'd do the same this year.

Deion Branch
David Givens

Troy Brown (have to believe that BB will find a role for him)

Andre Davis (a fifth round pick is too much to give up for someone you'll cut at the end of training camp)

Fighting it out:
Tim Dwight (I'd move him to a near-lock, but Davis does everything that he does)

David Terrell (profootballtalk.com says he's the one that's been disappointing - been hurt for almost all of camp)

PK Sam (also hurt for all of camp - I'm betting he gets cut/PUPed/IRed)

Bethel Johnson (also hurt for all of camp- I'm also betting he gets cut/PUPed/IRed)

Thanks for coming in:
J. Alexander/B. Childress - rookie FAs that have impressed, but will now be lucky to be on the practice squad

by KSR (not verified) :: Tue, 08/23/2005 - 2:15pm

As far as the Pats recievers go, I expect Geoff's top 4 to make it, although I wouldn't be terribly surprised if Brown didn't, as he is getting a little long in the tooth, and this organization hasn't shown itself to be overly sentimental. After that, it gets murky fast. I see Dwight making it, Terrell and Sam on PUP, and Johnson on IR, or some combination thereof. I wouldn't be surprised if they carried Childress as the 6th reciever, epsecially if they could stash the other 3 on PUP/IR. Maybe I'm a little high on him, but BB has commented on him enough that I think there's something there, and in any event, after 6 weeks, they can move him to the practice squad and activate either Terrell or Sam, if neccessary.

by MDS (not verified) :: Tue, 08/23/2005 - 2:58pm

What kind of signing bonus did the Patriots give Terrell? It seems hard to believe they'd get rid of him, unless the bonus was next to nothing.

by KSR (not verified) :: Tue, 08/23/2005 - 3:23pm

According to Michael Felger, "The one-year deal signed by receiver David Terrell includes a $700,000 base salary, a $200,000 signing bonus and performance incentives. Terrell's base salary is not guaranteed, so if he doesn't work out, the Pats will only be responsible for his signing bonus against the cap."

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Tue, 08/23/2005 - 3:24pm

Terrell's signing bonus was $200K. No other guaranteed money. So he's emminently cuttable. (Link to source on pseudonym.)

by Oswlek (not verified) :: Tue, 08/23/2005 - 8:50pm

Bethel Johnson is the only receiver that can be PUPed. All the others have practiced at some point or another, so they can only be released or placed on IR.

I am ignoring Chad Morton because he is technically a RB, but he is PUP material too.