FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Demario Davis apparently was so eager to get out of Cleveland and back to the New York Jets that he took a significant pay cut to facilitate the June 1 trade that returned him to his original team.
Davis, due to make a non-guaranteed $3.7 million in the final year of his contract, will now make $1 million in 2017, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates. That includes a $100,000 signing bonus and a $900,000 base salary. He also can earn $1.225 million in incentives. He re-worked his deal at the time of the trade, per Yates.
The Jets re-acquired Davis in a rare player-for-player trade, as they sent disappointing safety Calvin Pryor to the Cleveland Browns. At the time, Davis' salary appeared prohibitive because he was projected as a backup. But things changed a few days later when the Jets released longtime middle linebacker David Harris.
Davis is the leading candidate to replace Harris in the lineup. The team insisted that Davis' return had no bearing on the decision to cut Harris, but it certainly worked out nicely from a financial standpoint, didn't it? Owner Woody Johnson cleared Harris' salary ($6.5 million) from the books, and now has a middle linebacker making only $1 million.