There was no doubt the affection was mutual.
The New Orleans Saints and All-Pro linebacker Demario Davis simply made sure that there couldn't be a scintilla of thought to the contrary Sunday, when the sides agreed on a reported three-year contract extension.
Davis, who joined the Saints as an unrestricted free agent in 2018, has emerged as one of the Saints' best defensive players, one of the team's best leaders, and a man who has served as a conscience and guide off the field in matters relating to social justice and equality.
"It's so much of a blessing," Davis said after Sunday's 34-23 season-opening victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "Man, I am just so blessed, me (and) my family. It's so much of a blessing that I really can't even put it into words.
"In 2016, I was back in Cleveland. I was contemplating retirement. I prayed, I was like, 'God, you know if you are not done with me in this game, use me and rejuvenate my mind, rejuvenate my body.' He did that. Since then, I was able to go to New York and be successful; get a contract here, and, now, get an extension. And then playing in my back yard (he's a native of Brandon, Miss.) and playing on a phenomenal team (is a dream).
"I am just so blessed. For me, it was just that I didn't want to leave this family. I didn't want to leave this brotherhood. So, when I was in a situation of where I could potentially go and plan to either go to free agency or stay, I just wanted to be here. There is so much talent, so much love, so much passion, great culture, great community.
"Me and my family are blessed just to have an extension here and spend a couple more years here with this brotherhood and this family and chase our goals, win a Super Bowl and more."
Davis had six tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit in Sunday's season-opening victory over Tampa Bay in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Last season, when he was named first-team All-Pro, Davis led the Saints with 111 tackles, and added four sacks, nine quarterback hits, 11 tackles for loss, an interception and 12 passes defensed.