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Lions GM happy to bring back former first-rounder Jarrad Davis: 'Everybody deserves second chances'

Jarrad Davis is a former first-round pick getting a second chance in Detroit.

Lions general manager Brad Holmes believes everybody deserves another opportunity, and that was the idea behind bringing Davis back to the franchise that took him 21st overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.

"I think everybody deserves second chances," Holmes said earlier this week at the Annual League Meeting. "We did see some things on tape that encouraged us to think that he'd be a good fit here."

From 2017-2020, Davis started 45 games in four seasons with Detroit. The Florida product flashed potential in the form of a 100-tackle, six-sack 2018 season, but largely came up short of his first-round potential.

Davis moved on from the Lions when he inked a surprising one-year, $5.5 million deal to join the Jets ahead of the 2021 campaign.

"We weren't able to afford to bring him back, we wanted to," Holmes said of the Lions' efforts to retain Davis last year. "We did get priced out."

Davis was forced out of the Jets' lineup plenty of times last season. Troubled by an ankle ailment, he played but nine games with five starts and 25 tackles to show for it.

Now he's returning to Motown from Gotham, and Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell are happy to have him.

"We had a lot of transparent discussions and he really liked what we were doing," Holmes said. "He just said it felt like home."

When the Lions picked Davis in the first round, Holmes and Campbell weren't part of the organization. But they're leading the way in giving him a second chance in Detroit, hoping the linebacker fulfills all the potential that the previous regime first saw in him.

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