Reports recently emerged that the Tennessee Titans and starting safety Amani Hooker are potentially engaged in discussions surrounding a contract extension. Hooker is one of several members of Tennessee’s impressive 2019 rookie class that is entering an ever-important contract season in 2022. The others include inside linebacker David Long Jr. and starting right guard Nate Davis, who could eventually be in line to receive an extension of his own. It’s worth exploring what an extension for Davis could look like.
Davis undoubtedly understands the importance of his 2022 campaign. Davis was noticeably leaner when he arrived at mandatory minicamp. Davis’ offseason centered around adding muscle while revamping a diet that now consists of healthier foods.
“I have put a lot of emphasis on my diet, just researching things, and it’s starting to pay off,” Davis recently said, via Jim Wyatt. “I was able to keep my weight, while also adding muscle. I am excited. I feel great.”
A contract year represents a new opportunity for Davis, who’s looking to bounce back from an underwhelming 2021 campaign. The former Charlotte standout posted a 49.2 Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade while allowing five sacks, four more than he gave up in 2020. Davis failed to reach the heights of his breakout sophomore campaign.
Davis battled COVID-19 twice in 2021, which impacted him both physically and mentally. Davis’ bouts with COVID undeniably had a negative impact on his performances. Now fully recovered and healthy, Davis is ready to look forward.
“Getting it twice, it affects you,” Davis said. “Your conditioning, your strength, and even a little bit of your confidence.”
The highest earning guards earn anywhere from $11 million (Graham Glasgow) to $16.5 million (Brandon Scherff) annually. The market was reset this offseason via contracts signed by Scherff (now the highest-paid guard in the league) and Laken Tomlinson, who the New York Jets signed to a three-year contract worth $40 million (annual average salary of $13.333 million). Furthermore, Quenton Nelson is in line to receive a new deal from the Indianapolis Colts, which could help reset the market once again.
Davis isn’t expected to receive a deal that mirrors those contracts however, but those negotiations have raised the floor for potential discussions between Davis and the Titans. It’s plausible to believe Davis could be targeting the three-year, $26.250 million contract Austin Corbett signed with the Carolina Panthers earlier this offseason. Corbett’s deal will pay him an AAV of $8.750 million, making him approximately the 13th highest-paid guard on an annual basis in 2022. Davis, like Corbett, has experienced an up-and-down career. Davis’ could potentially ask for roughly $9 million annually, but based on current happenings, it’s difficult to see him demanding $10-plus million.
A three-year extension worth approximately $27 million ($9 million annually) should currently represent the ceiling for a Davis extension.
Davis has played in 43 games for the Titans over the past three seasons, with 42 starts at right guard. He’s also started all five of the team’s playoff contests.