Former New York Jets wide receiver Corey Davis, who announced last August that he was "stepping away" from football, apparently is planning to return.

Davis, 29, applied for reinstatement to the NFL, a source told ESPN's Field Yates, and was released by the Jets from the reserve/retired list on Thursday. He's now free to sign with any team.

The Jets were under no obligation to relinquish their rights, but they did so with the possibility that he might re-sign with them. They certainly have a place for him. They want to add a veteran receiver to join Garrett Wilson & Co., and they've been exploring the free agent market.

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Right now, their most experienced receivers are Wilson and Allen Lazard, who was benched last season -- the first year of a four-year, $44 million contract.

When Davis left in the middle of training camp, the Jets said they'd welcome him back, with coach Robert Saleh saying, "The door is always open if guys want to play football." That position hasn't changed.

Davis, who signed with the Jets in 2021 after four seasons with the Tennessee Titans, decided to quit under mysterious circumstances. He played in the second preseason game, took a 10-day personal leave and then announced on Instagram that he was leaving the sport. He never said why, and he never used the word "retirement."

He walked away from a non-guaranteed salary of $10.5 million, although the Jets were expected to request a pay cut. That, coupled with a suddenly crowded receiving corps, might have pushed him away, teammates said. The Jets had acquired Lazard, Randall Cobb and Mecole Hardman in free agency, creating uncertainty about Davis' role.

Davis was a big-ticket addition, signing a three-year, $37.5 million contract in 2021, but he didn't live up to expectations. He battled injuries and his production was affected -- only 66 receptions, 1,028 yards and 6 touchdowns in two seasons.

Davis was drafted fifth overall by the Titans in 2017.