It was something of a surprise when the Patriots began the cutdown to the NFL-mandated 53 players this week by releasing a guy who had been a reliable backup for three seasons in New England: defensive lineman Carl Davis, who appeared in 33 games in the last two years, including six games started.
Patriots beat writer Mark Daniels reported the news and added on Twitter, “I’m a bit surprised as I thought he was solid last year.”
Davis himself made light of the transaction, posting a photo of himself on Instagram in a Patriots uniform with the caption, “It’s been a fun 3 years. I definitely am grateful for the opportunity here in New England. Time to take my janky a** to the unemployment line.”
But don’t feel too bad for Davis—according to Spotrac, he has made over $6 million in his eight-year NFL career that has included stints with the Ravens, Browns, Jaguars and Colts. As he wrote in a follow-up post: “Look I don’t need no sympathy.”
‘I Don’t Need No Sympathy’
Davis expanded on that sentiment, apparently having gotten messages of support from fans of the Patriots and others. He put the blame for his release squarely on himself. Here’s what he wrote:
Look I don’t need no sympathy because I got released. This is business. And I ain’t do enough to keep myself in the door. I hold myself accountable. I got caught slipping. I wasn’t playing dominant enough as I know I can. Don’t message me with the ‘I’m sorry Carl, they made a mistake.’ No tf they didn’t. If a mf say ‘Carl, I need you to run through a brick wall to be on this team,’ (well) guess what. Run through the wall!
Davis did go on, too, lamenting that “our society so soft.” He closed by writing, “For those of y’all that know me know how resilient I am. So I’m back to the grin to make sure I never get caught slacking. Keep your pacifier or the kids. The marathon continues.”
Belichick Made Davis an Early Cut
When meeting with reporters, coach Bill Belichick said he believed that, many times, cutting a player early is helpful to the player because it gives him more of a chance to sign with another team.
“In some cases where the decision is clear cut, it helps the player get a head start on their future. If we don’t have a spot for them here, because of the relationship we’ve had with those guys, maybe there is a spot for them somewhere else,” Belichick said. “Giving them a chance to get out there ahead of the pack, put some feelers out or their agents can get a start on it.”
Davis did have some memorable moments in his stint with the Pats, which started when he was signed off the Jacksonville practice squad early in the 2020 season. One, though was a bit unmemorable—when he first joined the team, he suffered a concussion in his first practice.
Speaking about the Patriots at the time, Davis said, “It’s not for the mentally soft. That’s what I heard. First practice, it was a good physical practice, and obviously I didn’t feel well after that. It’s good for me, though. Coming here, it surprised me how much it actually fits my style of play and what I like to do just as a player from the training staff, from the weight room guys and even practicing.
“I feel like I’m getting better every week.”
Indeed, this time in New England proved do the best stint of his career. Whether that career keeps going, or whether Davis’s janky backside winds up in the unemployment line, remains to be seen.