Spring 2021 Magazine

Thomas Davis shares message of thanks after his Panthers career comes to an end

After 14 years with the Carolina Panthers, Pro Bowl linebacker Thomas Davis announced Wednesday night that he’ll no longer be a member of the team he’s been a part of since being drafted in 2005.

Davis shared his message on Twitter:

“I received information from the Carolina Panthers on Monday that they’re going to go in a different direction with the linebacker position,” Davis shared. “It’s extremely tough to deal with … I wanted to be a part of a group that came and right the wrongs of this season. As a leader, I take full responsibility for some of things that we allowed to happen.”

Davis thanked the Panthers organization, teammates and fans, but insisted he wants to continue to play.

“Carolina is going to always be home for me and my family, but I’m not retiring,” said the 35-year-old Davis. “I feel like I have way too much football left in me to walk away from the game right now, so I want to keep playing. I’m going to keep playing. Hopefully someone’s going to give me that opportunity.”

Davis, who was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2014, started all 12 games he played in 2018 and finished with 79 tackles and two fumble recoveries for a Panthers team that underachieved and finished 7-9.

In January 2018, Davis initially announced that the 2018 season would be his final season, but after he was suspended the first four games for violating the league policy on performance enhancing drugs, Davis announced he wanted to play at least one more year.

LISTEN TO THOMAS DAVIS ON EPISODE 103 OF THE SPORTS SPECTRUM PODCAST

A graduate of Georgia, Davis was a three-year letterman at free safety from 2002-04. After his sophomore season in 2003, he earned second-team All-Southeastern Conference honors. He was recognized as a first-team All-SEC selection and a first-team All-American after his junior season in 2004. In 39 career games, Davis recorded 272 tackles, 17 for a loss, 10.5 sacks, three interceptions, six forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries. After his junior season, he left the Bulldogs for the NFL Draft and was selected in the first round by the Carolina in 2005.

Davis’ biggest influence on his faith was from his college head coach, Mark Richt.

“I never had a father figure in my household so I looked upon him as a father figure,” Davis told Sports Spectrum “And, the way he did things, the way that he communicated things with his wife, his kids. You know, I really learned a lot about being a man from Coach Richt.”

Davis also discovered Coach Richt was more than a guy about X’s and O’s, but a man centered in faith in Jesus Christ.

“He’s one of the best coaches in the country … yet he still gives all credit to God,” Davis says. “I’m like, who is this God and how can I find him? What do I have to do to get closer to Him? … I learned that from him. That’s where it all started for me.”

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