Washington Redskins: Are Fred Davis' Legal Troubles Reason Enough to Cut Him?

Aidan ReynoldsContributor IIIJuly 11, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 04:  Fred Davis #83 of the Washington Redskins celebrates the Redskins first touchdown against the New York Jets during the first half at FedExField on December 4, 2011 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

After failing multiple drug tests and being suspended for the final four games of last season, it was generally assumed that Fred Davis would be on very thin ice going into the 2012 season.

The franchising of Davis did nothing to disprove that theory, instead giving the Washington Redskins a chance to assess Davis' worth to the team in 2012, as well as ensuring that he stays out of trouble.

Any new contract offer would be based on both factors, and any deviation from the prescribed path would likely spell the end of his career as a Redskin.

It seems that trouble has a habit of following Davis around, however, and his recent farcical legal battle has hampered his credibility even further.

Bleacher Report's NFC East Lead Blogger Brad Gagnon went into the unintentionally hilarious details here, and I highly recommend reading every link and aside.

Although the charges being leveled at Davis refer to an incident that took place before his suspension and subsequent franchising, the possibility remains that Davis is just one more in a long line of NFL players who take their talent and strangle it with stupidity.

If this is the case, would the Redskins be better off cutting their losses?

The argument for this would be down to one of the dates stated in Fred Davis' declaration. As embarrassing as it is for him to have to be told that Dec. 3, 2012 hasn't happened yet—especially as he is representing himself—the mistake was made worse when it was corrected to 2011.

Of course, this was the night before the Redskins hosted the New York Jets, and by admitting that he went to a club the night before a home game, Davis immediately renders suspect his commitment to the team.

As Dan Steinberg noted for the Washington Post, it's unlikely that Mike Shanahan took kindly to this knowledge, and Davis' already-thin ice begins to crack around his feet when Steinberg's article continues to say that the party in question was scheduled to run from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Now, it's not known if Davis consumed alcohol at this party—or anything else, for that matter, given his reputation— or what time he left. In fact,the only thing we seem to know for certain is that he had six receptions for 99 yards in the Jets game, leading the team in that respect.

While this may lead some people to suggest that Davis be pushed into a club the night before every game, it seems that the best outcome for Davis in this ridiculous case would be to hire a lawyer.

Since the year was wrong on Davis' original declaration, there is a valid argument to be made that the actual day was wrong, too, and maybe Davis wasn't at the party at all. Maybe he was thinking of another party, on a completely different night? 

Sometimes doubt is all that it takes, and there certainly seems to be a lot of it here.

I'm sure that Mike Shanahan has spoken with Davis about the incident, but it is unlikely that the Redskins will come out with any official line on the matter.

As embarrassing as this is for the Redskins, the trial date is set for March 11, 2013, so to cut him from the team before then would be a huge mistake.

Despite being something of a controversy magnet, Davis has a huge amount of talent—should the Redskins decide that he's too much of a liability at this point, there would be no shortage of offers from other teams.

Prior to the suspension, Davis was on course for a 1,000-yard season, so there is every reason to expect that to happen this year, especially with the upgrade at quarterback.

Placing the franchise tag on Davis was the correct move then, and remains so now. He maintained that the suspension gave him the wake-up call he needed, and that it would no longer be an issue.

Of course, there was no mention of getting into fights with alleged "pimpettes", and his legal case has been going on for the last 18 months, but to punish him for something that he hasn't yet been found guilty of could cause the Redskins even more embarrassment further down the line.

Any further altercations, arrests or suspensions will affect Davis' ability to gain a contract with any team in the NFL, not just the Redskins, and this will have been made clear to him.

The current situation doesn't fall under that category—although it's a huge setback for a team that's desperately clawing its way back to relevance—and it's likely that the front office was made aware of it long before the media.

Since the suspension, the Redskins have shown a combination of trust and caution when dealing with Fred Davis. There seems no need to change that right now.

Can we start talking about football now, please?