Financial details emerge of Vontae Davis' deal with Bills

February 27, 2018
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Financial details have emerged of the Bills’ one-year deal with free agent cornerback Vontae Davis, via NFL Insider Ian Rapoport.

The #Bills signed former #Colts CB Vontae Davis to a 1-year worth $5M base, source said, with $3.5M of that guaranteed. The max he can earn is $8M.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 27, 2018
 

Davis played five games for the Indianapolis Colts last year before undergoing season-ending groin surgery and ultimately being released. He’s started 112 games in his career with the Colts and Miami Dolphins, collecting 22 interceptions and appearing in two Pro Bowls.

The Bills were Davis' first free agency visit this offseason, and later had meetings with the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, and Dolphins.  He ultimately settled on Buffalo.

Davis missed six games in 2012 due to injuries.  Other than that season and last year, he’s missed a total of seven games in his seven other seasons.  With his 30th birthday coming in May, and the $5 million base salary they’ll be paying him, the Bills are banking on Davis staying as healthy as he was for most of his career.  If he can, he will most likely line up opposite Tre’Davious White as the two Bills’ starting cornerbacks in 2018.

The Davis signing likely means the team will be moving on from cornerback E.J. Gaines, who will be a free agent in a couple weeks. Gaines had a very good season, and could be due for a hefty raise in his next contract.  Gaines has also had injury issues, finishing only eight of 16 games last season.

Davis spent the last six seasons with the Colts after three seasons to start his career in Miami. The 29-year old was a first round pick (25th overall) of the Dolphins in the 2009 draft out of Illinois, but was traded to the Colts for a second round selection prior to the 2012 season.

Ironically, Davis recorded his first career interception his rookie season against Bills’ quarterback Trent Edwards and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown.

Because Davis was released by the Colts, he was no longer under contract and didn’t have to wait until the new league year and free agent signing period to hook on with another club.  That also means the signing will not count against the 2019 compensatory pick formula for the Bills.  Teams who lose more qualifying free agents than they sign during the comp pick window, which runs from the new league year until early May) may be rewarded compensatory selections by the league, depending on the types of contracts those players signed.

Because the Bills signed more players than they lost last year, they did not receive any compensatory selections in this April's draft.


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Joe DiBiasi (@DiBiaseWGR) contributed to this report