Jim Irsay showed his cards for days on Twitter and his prediction proved true Sunday: The Indianapolis Colts have agreed to trade a 2013 second-round pick for Miami Dolphins cornerback Vontae Davis, FOXSports.com has learned.
Davis, the 25th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, fills a glaring need for the Colts, who need a starting CB to play opposite Jarraurd Powers. A standout at Illinois, Davis has started 36 of 44 gamers for the Dolphins the past three seasons, collecting 148 tackles, a sack and hauling in nine interceptions.
”I think if Vontae were coming out in the 2013 draft, there’s no way he’d be there. A guy of this caliber and with this talent level and skill set, he wouldn’t be there in the second (round),” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. ”You don’t find guys like this in the second.”
But Davis, 24, had been battling Sean Smith and Richard Marshall for playing time and was playing mostly in the nickel package during his preseason in Miami.
”We appreciate all the contributions Vontae has made to the Dolphins since we drafted him in 2009 and we want to wish him the best of success in Indianapolis,” Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said in a statement.
Apparently, Davis also appreciates the chance to start over in the Midwest, only a two to three-hour drive from his alma mater – Illinois.
”Thank GOD for keeping me in the right direction!!!!!” he wrote on Twitter.
In 44 career games with Miami, Davis had 148 career tackles and nine interceptions.
The addition of Davis came hours after the Colts took another big defensive hit when an MRI confirmed defensive tackle Brandon McKinney injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Pagano said McKinney would likely go on injured reserve soon, ending his season.
McKinney, one of several ex-Ravens now in Indianapolis, was signed as a free agent in April to add size and depth to the defensive line. With his knowledge of the Ravens’ defensive system, Pagano and the new Colts coaches expected him to help Indy make a smooth transition from their traditional 4-3 defensive front to Pagano’s preferred 3-4 hybrid.
It’s been that kind of preseason for the Colts, who have lost two backup linebackers with season-ending knee injuries and will be without starting inside linebacker Pat Angerer (fractured foot) for several more weeks.
The Colts also played Saturday without new defensive end Cory Redding (knee) or linebacker Robert Mathis (shoulder) and have now lost the 345-pound McKinney in the middle of the defensive line.
”Losing the couple of linebackers that we’ve lost and now Brandon and the injuries that have kept some guys out for a couple weeks here and there, it’s tough from a continuity standpoint,” Pagano said.
”You’d love to have them all playing together just from a communication standpoint and a trust standpoint and all those types of things. So it’s been a challenge for Greg Manusky and our defensive coaches. … It seems like every time we come out of a preseason game or what not, we’re adding somebody new to the mix.”