The San Francisco 49ers had high hopes when they drafted Anthony Davis to the team as an 11th overall pick, with a 5-year contract worth $37.5 million. He was considered one of the top right tackles in the NFL before his injuries marred his 2014 season.
Then he surprised his team by announcing back in 2015 that he was going to take a one-year break from football to allow his brain and body to heal. The 49ers were caught offhanded by such a decision, and they struggled to find players to fill in for the void.
Eric Pears, who was supposed to play as a guard, found himself filling in his position, as well as Trent Brown, who eventually drew praises from teammates for stepping up to the challenge.
But now Anthony Davis is reported to have formally filed for a reinstatement with the NFL, aiming to be back in the game by the start of training camp.
But what position will he play now?
Anthony Davis would have to compete against players like Trent Brown and Eric Pears now for a role with the team, as they would have to cut a player to create a spot for Davis. O-line coach, Pat Flaherty tells CSN Bay Area, “And he knows this, coming from me, if he wants to play, then he’s got to come back and prove he can play.”
A healthy Anthony Davis can play all right, but the question now is in his attitude towards the game as a professional. The 49ers need more talent in their team, but it needs consistency as well.
The team can release Davis or trade him to create more cap space. If they opt to trade him, it might be a tough sell given his history of inconsistency and waywardness. If the team keeps him he’d need to prove his worth anew, and it isn’t clear yet if he’ll be starting right tackle.
Anthony Davis would have to overcome some issues with the team and colleagues after making public criticisms during his hiatus. Last April, NBC reported Anthony Davis making sharp remarks on Twitter against the team’s general manager Trent Baalke and the team:
“I do not want to work with a front office or anyone else who seemingly doesn’t want to win as bad as I do.”
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