LA Chargers: Michael Davis is the best valued cornerback in the NFL

Michael Davis, LA Chargers (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Michael Davis, LA Chargers (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

The second free agency move that was announced for the LA Chargers was the re-signing of cornerback Michael Davis, who signed a three-year, $25 million contract with $15 million in total guaranteed money.

There were some worries about whether or not Davis would return early on Monday morning. Mike Garafolo said on Good Morning Football that Davis was going to get around $10 million per season and that he was likely going to sign elsewhere.

That ultimately was not the case. Davis stayed in LA and signed for less than $10 million per season. Davis still would have been worth $10 million and with him only getting $25 million over three years, he becomes the best-valued cornerback in the NFL.

There is not a single team that is getting a better deal on a cornerback (that is not in their rookie deal) than the LA Chargers are getting with Michael Davis.

Why Michael Davis is such great value for the LA Chargers:

According to Over The Cap, Michael Davis’ AAV is the 19th highest among corners in the league (20th with Shaquill Griffin’s reported three-year, $44.5 million contract). He should go down to at least 21st once William Jackson signs with a team. He could go to 22nd if Patrick Peterson gets a big one-year deal.

Most of the corners that are making more than Davis are older, and thus are closer to regressing than Davis. Davis is currently 26 and there are only three other corners that are making more that are just as young — Kendall Fuller (26), Tre’Davious White (26) and Marlon Humphrey (25).

Davis is on the right side of 30 and is progressing in the right direction. Not only does he have the intangibles of size and speed that most corners would be lucky to have, but he has gotten better each and every season.

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I am extremely hard-pressed to think that Davis will regress in 2021 after getting better every single season and getting a new head coach that is coming off of the most impressive defensive job with the Los Angeles Rams in 2020.

Heck, Davis was exceptional last season. Davis ranked seventh in the NFL in passer rating allowed when targeted with at least 500 coverage snaps played. Almost every name ahead of him is considered to be an elite NFL cornerback.

2020 opposing QB passer rating when targeted (min. 500 snaps):

Xavier Howard (All-Pro), 53Darious Williams, 59.9Jaire Alexander (Pro Bowl), 68.3James Bradberry (Pro Bowl), 70.1Kendall Fuller, 72.6Jalen Ramsey (All-Pro), 73.0Troy Hill, 74.3MICHAEL DAVIS, 77.7

— Bolt Beat (@BB_Chargers) March 15, 2021

Darious Williams, Jalen Ramsey and Troy Hill were all members of Staley’s defense in 2020 and Hill is a fan-favorite target for the Chargers. Williams’ passer rating in 2019 (pre-Staley) was 81.3, Ramsey’s was 96.4 and Hill’s was 54.7, but in half the sample size.

So not only is he trending in the right direction but those trends will likely be accelerated by his brand-new head coach. That is a fantastic sign for the LA Chargers.

The best contract to highlight Davis’ value is Shaquill Griffin’s three-year, $44.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Griffin is getting $19.5 million more than Davis in the same number of years. Griffin is solid but he allowed a better passer rating than Davis last season with a higher reception rate allowed.

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There is a good chance that by the end of his contract, Michael Davis is worth far more than the $8.4 million AAV that he signed for. Heck, there is a good chance that he is worth far more than that in 2021 for the LA Chargers.