Commanders sign cornerback Michael Davis, who joins Chargers teammate Austin Ekeler in Washington

Mon, Mar 18, 2024
NFL News (AP)

Commanders sign cornerback Michael Davis, who joins Chargers teammate Austin Ekeler in Washington

The Washington Commanders signed cornerback Michael Davis to a one-year contract Monday, adding another player from the Los Angeles Chargers along with running back Austin Ekeler.

Davis, 29, gives Washington an established veteran in the secondary to go with Benjamin St-Juste and 2023 first-round pick Emmanuel Forbes. He has played in 107 games and started 74 in seven NFL seasons since making his debut as an undrafted free agent in 2017.

"I felt like this was the best place for me to be at, the best place for me to come here and improve myself," Davis said. "I couldn't pass up on the opportunity. "

The chance to start and work with young cornerbacks drew Davis to Washington. Not knowing much about Dan Quinn, Davis does know what kind of players the new Commanders coach prefers.

"I knew that I could be the perfect fit in his scheme," Davis said. "I know that Dan Quinn likes bigger corners - bigger and faster and taller corners - and I'm that."

Davis replaces Kendall Fuller, who left to sign a $16.5 million, two-year contract with the Miami Dolphins after playing six of the past eight seasons for Washington.

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Davis is one of several veteran players new general manager Adam Peters has brought in since free agency began, along with Ekeler, quarterback Marcus Mariota, tight end Zach Ertz and six-time All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner. He believes his knowledge from all his time in the league will be a benefit, and it could especially benefit Forbes, who is coming off being benched amid some struggles during his rookie year.

"I know this is a young team," Davis said. "I've seen a lot of things, played against the best, beat the best, too, so I'm coming here with experience."

And he'll have a familiar face to help with the transition after Ekeler on Monday signed his two-year deal worth up to $11.43 million that was agreed to last week. Ekeler, who turns 29 in May, said the Commanders showing the most interest in him was a factor in him signing with them.

So was the opportunity to pair with Brian Robinson Jr. as an inside-outside running back duo. Ekeler envisions it'll be like when he played alongside Melvin Gordon in the backfield in LA.

"I'll score some touchdowns for you, that's for sure, if you can get me in the red zone and find a way to get me the ball in some space," said Ekeler, who led the league in all-purpose touchdowns in 2021 and '22.

Injuries - sprains to both of his ankles - limited Ekeler to six TDs in 14 games last season. Now he gets a fresh start and the chance to reunite with former Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, who now is in charge of Washington's running backs.

"This man is an absolute guru," Ekeler said. "Just being back in a room with him I know will definitely keep me focused, keep me locked in and give me the best opportunity to push myself as a player."

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STEPHEN WHYNO DC-based hockey writer covering NHL, Capitals and Commanders twitter mailto "
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