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Commanders giving LB Jamin Davis a chance to earn edge rusher reps ahead of contract year

Washington Commanders first-round linebacker Jamin Davis enters a crucial campaign battling for snaps.

With Washington declining his fifth-year option, Davis is in the final year of his rookie contract. The former first-rounder out of Kentucky has shown flashes but hasn't consistently made the type of impact the club hoped when it made him the No. 19 pick in 2021.

With Dan Quinn taking over the defense and the Commanders importing Bobby Wagner and Frankie Luvu, Davis' role is a question mark heading into the season.

Quinn noted Wednesday that the Commanders will give Davis a chance to earn reps as an edge rusher to get on the field.

"Yeah, I think that's a natural question. At the end of a contract, or you're in a contract year, and what does that look like?" Quinn said, via the team's official transcript. "But more important even than that is like this improvement. And we're trying to really push him specifically on the versatility. So you'll see him working some with the defensive line, you'll see him working with [pass rush specialist] Ryan Kerrigan on the side, and we're adding parts to his game that maybe we didn't use and we're certainly trying to explore that. And so, if that's something that he can add value for himself and for the team, then we'll dig in, and that'll take a while as well. That's not something that's in one practice or in one week to say, 'Okay, it's there.' Let's take the time and work through it. I've been very impressed by his work ethic."

Davis said that working with Kerrigan, who earned 95.5 sacks during his career in Washington, on the edge has been fun so far.

"It's giving me a chance to just really cut it loose and just go hunt some quarterbacks, honestly," he said.

The Commanders traded Chase Young and Montez Sweat last season, leaving a void off the edge. The club added Dorance Armstrong, Dante Fowler and Clelin Ferrell in free agency, but there are reps to be had. Davis could be one rotational option the Commanders test out.

Generally, when a new regime takes over and imports players, the underperforming parts left over from previous commands are pushed aside. Quinn and his staff are trying to determine whether they can still find a role for Davis in 2024.

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