Davis, who was already in a contract year, will now leave the team that uncharacteristically has depth at cornerback. No one disputes that part.
"Change is good", Davis said. When I look at the situation, I feel like there was no respect.
Davis first suffered a groin tear on August 26, during the Colts' third preseason game. These things happen. And I never got confronted and [no one] said, 'Your play has slipped.' Nothing.
Though he started 14 games in 2016, it was obvious he wasn't playing to the level many expected. But now, my play slips and this? They should have come to me way earlier and said, 'Vontae, you're not yourself.
Compounding Davis' disappointment, he says, is the fact that Pagano did not initially deliver the news to him. However, Davis did not take to the news very well, and he's alleged that he was told by Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino and defensive backs coach Greg Williams-not even Pagano himself.
Pagano and Davis did eventually talk late last week, with the cornerback expressing his displeasure in how things were handled. His 76 games as a Colt are the fifth-most for a cornerback since the team moved to Indianapolis, and included 13 interceptions. "I'm a professional", said Davis, who remains limited in practice. "I've been in (the NFL) long enough".
"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. "It really bothered me".
With Colts trainers and doctors apparently not signing off on Davis's claim that his injury is affecting his play, he went to see his own doctors this week. Davis was public about his disapproval of Pagano's handling of the situation and making the decision to not play him while hurt.
However, in the past year of his Colts contract, Davis told reporters, "Change is good", regarding his free agent status in 2018 on Wednesday, and that probably isn't something that sat well with general manager Chris Ballard as he wants players in the locker room who want to be in Indianapolis and is trying to build a winning culture.