Ticats release pass rusher Ja’Gared Davis to pursue NFL opportunities

Photo courtesy: Alex Lupul/AlexLupul.com

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have released Ja’Gared Davis to pursue NFL opportunities.

Davis signed a one-year contract extension with the Ticats one day prior to the opening of free agency in February. It’s a move that makes sense for the Tabbies because Davis is a pending free agent and the franchise wants to maintain a positive relationship with the high-calibre player. 

The 30-year-old started 17 games at defensive end for Hamilton last season, finishing second in the CFL with a career-high 13 quarterback sacks. He earned East Division all-star honours for the first time and was a key member of the league’s best defence that allowed the least amount of points (344) in 2019. 

The six-foot-one, 238-pound native of Crockett, Texas added 54 defensive tackles, one special teams tackle, five pass knock downs, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and three tackles for loss in 2019. Davis has also played in eight playoff games — including four consecutive Grey Cup games – winning one with Calgary in 2018.

Over his four-year CFL career with the Stampeders (2016-2018) and Ticats (2019), the Southern Methodist University product has suited up in 62 games with 55 starts posting 177 defensive tackles, four special teams tackles, 36 quarterback sacks, 10 pass knockdowns, 10 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, three interceptions, one blocked punt and two touchdowns (one fumble return, one interception return).

Coming out of Southern Methodist University, Davis went unselected in the 2013 NFL draft. He signed with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent, however the New England Patriots claimed him on waivers following training camp. He played four games for Bill Belichick, although the Pats released him in late November that year. After that, Davis had stints with Kansas City and Washington. Davis has played in eight career NFL games making five tackles.

There are talent evaluators around the CFL who view Davis as underrated by pundits and it appears that’s been proven true by NFL teams potentially taking interest.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.