Releasing Davis before his contract ended allows the Colts to keep a disgruntled veteran player away (one who doesn't want to be in Indianapolis long-term) from their training and rehabilitation facilities, as well as their young, easily influenced players.
It was revealed Wednesday night that Davis would require groin surgery that would be season-ending, and Indianapolis cut the cornerback the day after.
After electing to bypass a possible surgery and let the groin heal, Davis missed the first three games of the regular season.
Since then Davis has not been on the injury report. These things happen. And I never got confronted and (no one) said, 'Your play has slipped.' Nothing.
"It should be more about the respect". He said he felt the demotion was due to his health and not his ability. Pagano used similar wording with reporters at the Colts complex.More news: Veterans Day 2017: Where to get deals, freebies and discounts
That differs from how the Colts addressed CB-Quincy Wilson having his knee flare up on the Saturday before the Bengals game. "When we trot the group out there on Sunday, you'll get to see".
Something that could be considered a bit of a "slap in the face" to Davis given his strong history and rapport with Pagano previously, who helped him develop into an elite cornerback.
Davis contended that his injury hasn't fully healed and he needed to put his health first. "I'm a professional", said Davis, who remains limited in practice.
"I'm not going to be able to play until I feel normal, until I feel I can go out there and be Vontae Davis and play at a high level", the 29-year-old corner said.
While it could ultimately cost the Colts a free agent compensatory draft pick by releasing him, the Colts are projected to have near $70 million of cap space in 2018 and should be "big spenders" regardless-which could make them ineligible for draft pick compensation regardless.
"I've been here six years", Davis said.
And that change came on Thursday.