The New England Patriots suffered some major losses in all three phases of the game over the course of the last week, with the team’s kicking game operations having to move forward without veteran Nate Ebner: the long-time Patriot signed a deal with the New York Giants to re-unite him with his former position coach Joe Judge. Not even a week later, however, it seems as if New England has found a potential replacement for Ebner.
According to his agent, Jordan Woy, veteran safety/special teamer Cody Davis has agreed to a free agency contract with the Patriots.
Davis originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent signing by the then-St. Louis Rams in 2013. While his defensive contributions were limited during his first three years with the team, he quickly established himself as a core member of its kick coverage units. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound defender saw continued to see regular action on special teams even as his role on defense grew: in 2016 and 2017, he played a combined 553 defensive snaps for the Rams as a rotational safety and registered two interceptions in the role.
In 2018, Davis left the club to join the Jacksonville Jaguars via free agency. While his new team did not give him a regular role on defense, he continued his solid play in the kicking game: the Texas Tech product was on the field for 363 of the Jaguars’ 427 special teams snaps in 2018 (85%) and 382 of 439 last year (87%). Along the way, he combined to register 18 tackles and also blocked an extra point attempt.
In New England, as noted above, Davis is expected to help fill the void of Ebner’s departure. As such, he is expected to join the returning core of special teamers consisting of captain Matthew Slater as well as fellow veterans Justin Bethel and Brandon Bolden. The Patriots also will get Brandon King back from injured reserve after he missed all of 2019 after hurting his quad in preseason. Davis will now add further veteran depth to the group.
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