Redskins wait on NFL word on Davis, Williams

Redskins wait on NFL word on Davis, Williams
December 5, 2011, 5:57 pm
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UPDATED 5:07 p.m.

Another day for the Redskins, another day of speculation as to whether tight end Fred Davis and left tackle Trent Williams have seen their seasons end.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, the NFL had not released its decision confirming a Sports Illustrated report that Williams and Davis are suspended four games for violating the substance abuse policy. The report said Williams and Davis have failed three tests for marijuana.

A third failed test usually means a year-long suspension, but there are issues to be negotiated between the league and the NFLPA because of the lockout and the new collective bargaining agreement.

Theres a strict confidentiality protocol between the NFL and the Players Association and I have not talked to the NFL thus far, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said during his press conference. Until I do, theres not really anything I can say at this point.

What Shanahan did say: He expects to hear the leagues decision on Tuesday and, in a round-about way, confirmed the protocol also includes commenting on whether he was involved in any of the talks between the league and NFLPA. (He was fined 25,000 in 2007 for such comments).

Well find out here shortly what their status is, he said. Im just going from past history. Normally if they wait until Wednesday, that player plays through the week. Its been that way in the past. If somebody is suspended, you would know today or tomorrow.

Shanahan said everything was normal, Monday for Davis and Williams, who attended team and position meetings to review tape of the Jets game. Their lockers which are side by side remained untouched.

Neither player was present during the 45-minute open locker room session, leaving their teammates to talk about the judgment lapses.

When we sign on that dotted line to be a part of the NFL, its a privilege to be a part of it and we have to act accordingly, safety Reed Doughty said.

The consensus is the Redskins will treat their absence like two more injuries. Already this year, three offensive starters have been placed on injured reserve.

Its hard to lose two guys of that caliber, Doughty said. Fred has had an unbelievable year, really a Pro Bowl-type year. Trent has played at a high level when hes been healthy.

Davis has more to lose than Williams with the stain the suspension could leave on their reputations.

Williams has four years remaining on the six-year, 60 million contract after being drafted fourth overall in 2010. The deal includes 36.75 million guaranteed. He is the Redskins most talented offensive linemen and viewed as a cornerstone player.

Trents played well and getting better and better each game, Shanahan said. He probably played his best game yesterday.

Davis, though, is an unrestricted free agent in March after his four-year, rookie deal expires. He hasnt hit it nearly as rich as Williams. The second-round picks contract calls for a base salarysigning bonus total of 900,000 this year.

Not among the top 30 paid tight ends this year, Davis could have been in line for a deal like Minnesota gave Visanthe Shiancoe (five years for 18 million, including 7 million guaranteed) or even larger. But with his baggage, Davis may get those years and millions, but not as much guaranteed.

If Davis season is over, he ends with 59 catches for 796 yards. Both totals lead the team.

Fred has had an opportunity since Chris has been down to take over the tight end position and has really taken advantage of the opportunity, Shanahan said. He has big play ability, he has practiced hard, he has played hard. Now we wait and see what the situation is.

If the situation ends with two suspensions, will Shanahans trust in building a team around Davis andor Williams be rattled?

In general, everything that you do is being evaluated, Shanahan said. Everybody is accountable and we know that. We look hard at free agency, we look hard at draft choices, we look hard at how people handle themselves in day-to-day situations. That all goes into the evaluation process, trying to put a football team together.

Their teammates echoed the Accountability Card, but wouldnt go as far as saying they feel Davis and Williams let them down.

Were all accountable to each other, Doughty said. But its a tough situation because theyre obviously leaders on this offense.

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