Matt Patricia Reveals Surprisingly Heavy Praise For Embattled Lions Linebacker

Matt Patricia

Getty Matt Patricia looks on against the Giants.

The Detroit Lions made the move over the weekend to decline the fifth year option of linebacker Jarrad Davis, but according to Matt Patricia, that might not mean much as it relates to the player’s future in the Motor City.

Speaking with reporters on a conference call, Patricia was asked about Davis and admitted the young linebacker is still a player who the Lions want to be a part of their future, even in spite of the fact that the team didn’t use the option for Davis. As he said, Davis is a “cornerstone” talent for the Lions on the defensive side of the football.

This statement shows that the Lions still remain committed to Davis beyond 2020, even if they have a clear out should the linebacker not perform next season. It’s an interesting juxtaposition for the team given the public move that was just made.

Perhaps the Lions wish to motivate Davis into having a big season, then try to bring him back for the future if he has a solid year.

Lions Declined Option For Jarrad Davis

Saturday, it was revealed by Justin Rogers of the Detroit News that the Lions would be declining the fifth year option for Davis with the team. This means the linebacker will still play for Detroit next year, but will be a free agent come next offseason. The deadline for this decision is officially May 4.

Obviously, the Lions can still decide to stick with Davis on a new deal after that point, but for now, it looks as if 2020 is make or break for the former first round draft pick out of Florida. In Detroit, Davis has been inconsistent at best, putting up 259 tackles, 10 sacks and 1 interception in his career. The Lions have struggled with how best to use him, and it feels as if 2020 is now a tipping point for the team with the player even in spite of public shows of appreciation for Davis.

Jarrad Davis Lions’ Stats

Davis always brings it on the field, and that’s something he has done since he played in college with the Florida Gators. Known as one of the best tacklers and leaders in his class, Davis has all the tools to be a fixture in Detroit as he has shown with his aggressive play. He’s going to be a fan favorite for his never say die attitude for years to come.

At times, Davis can be his own worst enemy in terms of the things he does on the field in pursuit and in coverage, but more often than not, his speed and passion is a major advantage for him. This year, Davis has been best at rushing the passer. He’s put up 62 tackles and 2 sacks this season.

Earlier this past season, Davis was excited when the Lions started 2-1-1 and looked to be turning over a new leaf, something which he said.

“In a sense we’re kind of like a newly seeded plant in a way. We’re starting to blossom a little bit. We got to keep watering, we got to keep giving ourself that light. We have to keep making sure that we are paying attention to things that are going to help us grow and get better,” Davis told the media a few months back.

Davis was around in 2018 for what became a struggle amid a frustrating 6-10 season on the field, and as he said, it’s been somewhat a shift in mindset and motivation which has led to Detroit’s turnaround on the field early in the 2019 season, as well as cleaning up some of the small details which prevented the Lions from having more overwhelming success.

Davis coming back and playing through pain shows the type of leadership he exhibits. Certainly, nobody can question the fact that Davis has been a solid leader for the team.

The Lions and Patricia appear to like Davis, but the only thing that remains to be seen is if everyone can put it together enough to stick around for 2021.

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