The New England Patriots made some massive investments along their defensive front seven during the offseason. One move that flew under the radar, though, was re-signing interior lineman Carl Davis to a one-year, $1.08 million contract.
Davis has played some solid football for the Patriots so far this year, appearing in all 14 games thus far as a big-bodied nose tackle. In total, he has been on the field for 236 of a possible 885 defensive snaps so far. In fact, his playing time share of 26.7 percent has already allowed him to cash in on a contract incentive that was considered unlikely to be earned (NLTBE) ahead of the season:
Carl Davis has already played enough snaps this season to earn his NLTBE 20% playing time incentive. It is worth $25K. Congratulations to him.— Miguel Benzan Patriots Cap Space equals 3,208,135 (@patscap) December 20, 2021
“Between [Lawrence Guy], [Davon Godchaux] and Carl, it’s three pretty good run players that are all on the field at the same time,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said about his team’s interior defensive linemen last week.
A third-round draft pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2015, Davis has bounced around the league the last few years. After leaving Baltimore, he spent time with the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars. He joined the Patriots last year but was limited to only three games due to injury.
This season, however, he has established himself as a valuable role player up front.