It’s been quite a career for former All-Pro linebacker Thomas Davis, who after 16 seasons is set to walk away from the game he’s been a part of at the highest level since 2005.
Davis announced on Instagram he is retiring from the NFL, but prior to signing the papers, he will spend one more day with the team that made him famous – the Carolina Panthers.
The former All-Pro linebacker was released by Washington on Wednesday, nothing more than a move that will allow him to sign a one-day contract with the Panthers next week, and then he can officially retire as one of the best players in team history.
Davis was drafted out of Georgia in 2005 by Carolina with the 14th overall pick in the NFL Draft. He spent the first 14 seasons of his NFL career with the Panthers, missing all of the 2010 season with an injured knee.
He returned in 2011, and in his years with the Panthers, played in 176 games, starting 158 overall. He compiled 28 sacks with the Panthers and picked off 13 passes.
Davis thanked both the Panthers as well as the Washington Football Team in the Instagram post. He also spent one season with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2019, starting in all 16 games.
“The time has finally come and I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting me along this journey,” Davis wrote via Instagram.
“The Washington Football Team, @washingtonnfl, has agreed to release me so that on March 11th, I will officially be returning to the place that my heart has been all along.
“By signing a one day contract, I will retire from the @nfl as a Carolina Panther. @panthers thank you from the bottom of my heart for this opportunity. Thank you @nflfilms & @jmohamed_83 for this video. I hope you all enjoy!”
Davis became a starter in his second year and was one of the rising defensive stars in the NFC by his fourth season.
Injuries were a major issue in his career. He suffered torn ACLs in the same knee in three straight seasons, but he always worked hard to get back on the field.
He was a big part of the Panthers defense which made it to the Super Bowl in 2015 but lost to the Denver Broncos.
Overall, Davis’ career ends with 1,216 tackles, including 90 for loss, 29 sacks, and 18 forced fumbles.