Thomas Davis to retire from NFL after 2018 season

Carolina Panthers

After 12 terrific seasons with the Carolina Panthers, star linebacker Thomas Davis will retire at the end of the 2018 NFL season.

Linebacker Thomas Davis has been a mainstay with the Carolina Panthers since the team drafted him No. 14 overall in the 2005 NFL Draft out of the University of Georgia. Though he has only made two Pro Bowls and garnered one All-Pro selection, Davis is without question one of the greatest players in Carolina football history.

While Davis has been a leader on this Carolina defense for well over a decade, he announced on Friday afternoon that the 2018 NFL season will be his last. He will play out the last year of his contract with the Panthers before calling it a career at 35 years of age.

There are a ton of changes happening in the Panthers organization entering 2018. Owner Jerry Richardson is in the process of selling the franchise he founded back in 1993. Two of the main pieces on Ron Rivera’s coaching staff were fired — offensive coordinator Mike Shula and quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey. Norv Turner will try to make Cam Newton into a 21st century Troy Aikman of a passer. Now Davis will be calling it a career by this time next year.

Davis won the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year and has been a pillar in the Charlotte community for so long. Carolina has made the NFC playoffs four of the last five years, but does not have a Lombardi Trophy to show for it. Though the Panthers could be good enough to win Super Bowl LIII in 2018, that will be Davis’ last shot at winning an NFL title.

Expect Davis to give his all, which he always does, in his final NFL season in 2018. Together, he and inside linebacker Luke Kuechly have formed one of the best linebacking groups in football for years. Sadly, that will be coming to an end when Davis hangs up the spikes by next February.

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