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Jets WR Corey Davis informs team he's stepping away from football

New York Jets receiver Corey Davis is stepping away from the NFL.

The 28-year-old informed the team that he plans to take time away from football and won't be with them to begin the season, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday, per sources informed of the situation.

Davis announced his intentions on Instagram on Wednesday afternoon. The team later placed Davis on the reserve/retired list, per the league transaction wire.

"For some time now I've been contemplating stepping away from the sport of football," Davis wrote. "This decision has not been easy. Although I am a deep person, I am a man of few words. I've been searching my heart for what to do and I feel that stepping away from the game is the best path for me at this time. I have more blessings than I could have ever imagined -- I have an amazing family, a beautiful wife and two healthy children that I look forward to spending more time with. I am truly grateful for all the opportunities I have had and will continue to have on my journey. Thank you to my family and friends and the Jets organization for supporting me through this process."

The Western Michigan product has been away from the Jets on what head coach Robert Saleh termed earlier Wednesday as a personal leave. The coach noted that Davis can take "however long he needs" when asked if the receiver would be available for Week 1, per ESPN.

"It was a pleasure to coach a player like Corey Davis," Saleh said in a statement after the news of Davis' decision. "He is a true competitor on the field and was a tremendously positive influence in the locker room. We are grateful to Corey for all the hard work and dedication he put into this team, and we wish him all the best in the future."

The No. 5 overall pick by the Tennessee Titans in 2017, Davis' career got off to an injury-riddled start, as he missed five games as a rookie. Davis bounced back to put up solid numbers in the Titans' run-first offense, but he never dominated. Over four years with Tennessee, Davis generated 2,851 yards and 11 touchdowns on 207 catches. Davis had his best season in 2020, earning career-highs with 984 yards and five scores.

The Jets signed Davis to a three-year, $37.5 million contract in 2021, hoping to build on his best season and play the No. 1 role in a young wideout corps. It never worked out that way, as Davis missed eight games in 2021 due to injury and another five in 2022. In two seasons with Gang Green, Davis has combined for 1,028 yards and six scores on 66 catches.

Due $10.5 million in 2023 with no guaranteed money, Davis has been the subject of trade and cut rumors this offseason. Despite the gossip, Saleh glowed about Davis this offseason, noting back in May that Davis would "be on the team" and adding that the 6-foot-3 wideout's big body brought a different element to the offense.

Ultimately, Davis won't be a part of the Jets in 2023 at least to begin the season, but for different reasons than speculated.

In six NFL seasons, Davis has generated 273 catches for 3,879 yards and 17 TDs.

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