HBO's Hard Knocks gives NFL fans a window into parts of the league that would otherwise remain a mystery, and Tuesday night's episode offered viewers a captivating depiction of Vontae Davis' departure from the Dolphins' franchise.
We'd already seen how head coach Joe Philbin handles player transactions. He's a bit of a stickler, but he's also very private. Allowing Davis to come into the office rather than make a spectacle of the situation was a courtesy, and it was a smart move once we saw how Davis reacted to the news.
The 24-year-old was shocked, stunned and everything in between. Dejection was painted across his face, and he immediately requested to "call his grandma."
Some would tell him to get over it, others will find it endearing, but it's compelling television no matter how you cut it. Miami's first-round pick in the 2009 draft, Davis' situation and side wasn't the only side shown in Tuesday's episode. We were also able to see general manager Jeff Ireland negotiate the details of the Colts' return package.
Per Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel, Ireland's negotiation and conversation with Indianapolis:
I haven’t said we’re in. I’ve just said we’re intrigued. Because I’m thinking a two isn’t enough. … the compensation is the only thing I’m discussing right now, in my head, what it’s worth for the anguish I’m going to go through to finding another one. And what is’worth value wise, more important, to kind of walk away from a first-round pick.
Davis may not be a household name, but it's still a privilege to crawl inside a general manager's head. Access like this shows us exactly how much pressure is packed into the league's most minor moves.
Now, imagine how bigger trades sound. Champ Bailey for Clinton Portis, anyone?
Tuesday night's episode should give everyone more appreciation for the jobs of the players and GMs.
Yes, Davis will still make money and play football, but he has to change cities. He has to join new teammates and learn a new defense.
Normally, we don't see these major changes from an emotional standpoint. Hard Knocks changed that on Tuesday with the best episode of the season so far.