Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis will retire after 2018 season

NFL


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis will retire after the 2018 season, the two-time Pro Bowl selection told NFL.com on Friday.

During training camp, Davis signed a one-year extension through the 2018 season with the intention of it being his last. He said at the time the deal would allow him to retire as a member of the Panthers, who selected him in the first round of the 2005 draft.

“This will definitely be my last year coming up,” Davis told NFL.com. “One of the reasons is I want to continue my contractual obligations. I signed on for a one-year extension, and I want to complete that. I’ve never been a guy to quit anything, and I’m not going to start doing that now.”

He told NFL.com that he was looking forward to spending more time with his children.

Davis, who will turn 35 in March, is Carolina’s all-time leading tackler with 1,015. He had 76 tackles this season, the first time since 2011 — when he suffered a third ACL tear in his right knee — that he did not have at least 100 tackles.

He said Monday, after the Panthers lost an NFC wild-card game against the New Orleans Saints, that he planned to honor the final year of his contract but likely wouldn’t be an every-down player as he has been.

“Being in my 13th year, I’m pretty sure coming back next year that it will be in a reduced role,” Davis said. “Shaq [Thompson] has definitely earned the right, and when you look at [David] Mayo, he’s coming along. Obviously we still have Luke [Kuechly] here who is playing at an extremely high level.

“So we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes.”



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