The Washington Times - February 15, 2013, 10:14AM

RICHMOND | Redskins tight end Fred Davis appears headed for unrestricted free agency when the new league year begins at 4 p.m. on March 12.

He is less than four months removed from surgery to repair his torn left Achilles tendon, and the recovery from such a procedure usually requires six to eight months. It seemingly would benefit Davis and the Redskins, then, to wait to commit to any contract.

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“He’s progressing well,” Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said Thursday. “That’s a very serious injury. We won’t know a lot until later in the spring where he’s at. But he’s working very hard, and we expect he’ll have a full recovery.”

Davis, who will be 27 by opening day, made $5.45 million last season playing on a one-year franchise player tender. If the Redskins designated him their franchise player again, they would have to pay him $6.54 million in 2013. That’s a lot for a player coming off such an injury, particularly for a team that currently is over its 2013 salary cap.

If the Redskins want to risk waiting to sign Davis until he proves his health, they might benefit from other teams’ reluctance to commit significant money to a player who is coming off Achilles surgery and one who faces a yearlong suspension if he violates the NFL’s illegal drug policy again.

Davis, meanwhile, could wait until he’s healthy to test the market and, presumably, command the highest salary possible.

He averaged 13.5 yards per receptions in each of the last two seasons. He also emerged as Washington’s best blocking tight end last season by becoming more consistent. In seven games, he had 24 catches for 325 yards and no touchdowns.