I know, I know, Jason David sucks.
Sometimes he doesn’t realize that he is a cornerback and not the concierge at Hotel End Zone. He gets caught looking into the backfield too often. He loses sight of his man way too often.
Let’s face it, Jason David needed to be removed as a starter. He was a defensive liability. He was being picked on relentlessly by opposing offenses. He has been single-handedly responsible for allowing scoring drives.
The 2007 fourth-round pick the New Orleans Saints gave to the Indianapolis Colts for David was too much. The four-year, $16.5 million deal he inked in 2007 was way too much. The $2.4 million due to him this year is way too much.
With all of those negative attributes, the Saints should have just cut David—good riddance to bad rubbish.
Agreed? ...Not so fast.
Beneath all of that negative have been some well-hidden positives.
David is an extremely athletic cornerback. He is quick with great recovery speed. David can run hip-to-hip with most NFL receivers. He is a ball hawk who often gets a hand or two on the ball.
In spots, Jason David is a really good cornerback. In spots. The solution to the Jason David experiment is not to cut him. The solution is to limit his spots.
Jason David, as a nickel or dime corner, could be highly effective. By playing significantly fewer snaps, David will have fewer opportunities to fall into his usual bad habits.
By sitting on the bench and watching the game being played from the sideline, David can visualize and focus on technique in a way that he couldn’t if he were a starter.
As a nickel or dime, David would be matched up on the opposing offenses’ third or fourth-best wide receiver, rather than their best wideout. A matchup between David and a third or fourth-string receiver will favor David.
When David is playing well, he can handle a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver. Against a backup wide receiver, David’s athleticism and talent will win out.
By reducing his opportunities to fail, as well as matching him against inferior competition, the Jason David experiment can be salvaged. By keeping him on the team, the Saints maintain quality depth from a commodity they are familiar with at a position of need.
The Saints did the right thing by keeping Jason David.