Davis agreed to terms March 23 with the Falcons. He signed a two-year, $5.5 million deal, which included a $1.5 million signing bonus. A total of $3 million of the deal is guaranteed.
“The only thing I can say is that Atlanta was the best fit,” Davis said.
Davis is the younger brother of James Davis, who played at Douglass High and Clemson. He was the Tigers’ leading rusher for four straight seasons from 2005-08.
He was drafted in the sixth-round by the Browns in 2009 draft.
“He couldn’t believe it,” Mike Davis said. “I told my brother I was going to the Falcons.”
The older brother told their mother before Mike Davis could call.
“That’s how happy he was,” Mike Davis said. “He just ruined it for me.”
James is seven years older than Mike and has been looking out for his younger brother for years. James was responsible for Mike ending up at Stephenson and playing for legendary coach Ron Gartrell, who recently retired.
“Coming up from Douglass and being on the West Side of Atlanta all of my life, it was pretty rough growing up Bankhead,” Mike Davis said. “My brother got drafted and moved me out to Lithonia area and Coach Gartrell gave me a chance to do something (better) with my life. He saw something in me. I’m really grateful and really appreciative of the opportunity that was given.”
Davis was drafted in the fourth-round by the 49ers in 2015. He is coming off his best season in the NFL when amassed 642 yards rushing and 373 yards receiving. He also scored eight touchdowns for the Panthers in 2020.
Davis signed a two-year, $6 million with Carolina in 2019. He received a $2 million signing bonus and had a base salary of $2.95 million last season.
The 5-foot-9, 221-pound Davis has played in 65 games and made 22 starts. He has played with the 49ers (2015-16), Seattle (2017-18), Chicago (2019) and Carolina (2019-20).
Over this career, Davis has 412 carries for 1,531 yards and 11 touchdowns and 125 catches for 803 yards and three touchdowns.
“Never, never thought I’d have the chance to play for the Atlanta Falcons,” Mike Davis said. “It’s really a dream come true. I would just say that Atlanta was the best fit. I didn’t want to honest, I didn’t want to go anywhere far from home. I’ve done that a lot.”
Davis doesn’t have to go looking for furniture or a condo to rent.
“The fact that I can stay at home, wake up in my own bed and not have to borrow furniture or rent a place out, I was all for it,” Mike Davis said.
In addition to moving Mike Davis to the suburbs, James Davis has remained in his corner.
“He helped me a lot because I’ve seen everything that he went through and how he handled everything,” Mike Davis said. “I’ve seen the ups and downs of everything. I paid attention to it. I didn’t want to fall into the things that he did wrong. I didn’t want to go in those same footsteps.”
A rash of injuries cut James Davis’ NFL career short.
“Also, I just wanted to learn a lot about the process just in case if it ever came that time, that I’d be prepared for it,” Mike Davis said.
A lot of his old pals and long-lost cousins from over the city are looking for tickets.
“My mom, like she couldn’t believe it, which is crazy,” Mike Davis said. “They’ve been jumping up with joy. Everybody has been asking me for tickets already. It’s been pretty interesting. I can tell you that.”
The Davis’ dad, Mike Oliver, died Sept. 25, 2019, to prostate cancer, two years after he was diagnosed with the disease.
“If there was anybody who would be the most excited it would be him,” Mike Davis said. “If anybody wanted me to play for the Falcons, it would be my dad. He’d be going crazy right now. I just wish he could see how far I came and how everything went for me last year just playing for him. He would’ve love it.”
Falcons’ 2021 draft position: Here are the top nine picks in D. Led’s Mock Draft 3.0:
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson)
2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, (QB, BYU)
3. San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance (QB, North Dakota State)
4. Denver Broncos (trade with Falcons): Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State)
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell (OT, Oregon)
6. Miami Dolphins: DeVonta Smith (WR, Alabama)
7. Detroit Lions: Ja’Marr Chase (WR, LSU)
8. Carolina Panthers: Mac Jones (QB, Alabama)
9. Falcons (trade with Broncos): Micah Parsons, (OLB, Penn State)
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