Thomas Davis entering final year, not holding back
Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis is entering his final year and already not holding back…
The Carolina Panthers and linebacker Thomas Davis agreed to an extension of his current contract prior to the 2017 season. Davis is a former first-round pick of Carolina, only playing for the Panthers throughout a career extending over a decade.
Suffering through multiple knee injuries, Davis has shown a resolve and dedication to the Panthers organization and football unmatched, arguably, by anyone. The veteran linebacker even suffered a broken arm in the 2015 NFC Championship game but immediately underwent surgery and played in the Super Bowl just two weeks later.
A recent announcement that 2018 would be his final season came on the heels of an expected reduced role next year. Fellow linebacker Shaq Thompson increased his production this season under new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, who may return despite being considered for multiple coaching vacancies across the league.
While Thompson obviously has incredible shoes to fill playing the role vacated by Davis on defense next to captain Luke Kuechly, he is ready for the task. Davis has earned the right to retire on his own terms but bringing the Lomabardi Trophy back to Charlotte has always been his ultimate goal. Davis had hoped to win a Super Bowl for franchise owner Jerry Richardson, but workplace misconduct allegations are leading to a change in ownership and inability of Davis to fulfill his promise.
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A veteran and respected leader both in the locker room and around the league, Davis has seldom criticized or used his platform to ridicule opponents. However, after a third New Orleans Saints victory over his Panthers in the playoffs, the opposing locker room was a bit too exuberant for many fans of the Panthers, especially with more wins needed to play for the ultimate prize.
New Orleans would lose their next game to the Minnesota Vikings, their second loss to the team Carolina defeated, in dramatic fashion. Vikings quarterback Case Keenum connected with wide receiver Stefon Diggs for a touchdown as time expired, advancing Minnesota to the NFC Championship and ending the Saints season.
A simple tweet from Davis sent his message loud and clear.
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In a true veteran move, Davis sent his message without even mentioning the intention or subject of his content. Yet, it resonated with so many who witnessed the Saints act like Super Bowl champions following a win over the Panthers just last week.