Panthers No. 58: Can Thomas Davis go out with a bang in Washington?

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Thomas Davis
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Thomas Davis /

Can former Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis go out with a bang with his ex-head coach Ron Rivera in Washington?

The upcoming season will be the first time since 2012 that they will be without the services of Luke Kuechly. The legendary linebacker announced his shock retirement after eight prolific seasons in the NFL. And although he is staying with the organization as a pro scout, the impact of his loss on the field cannot be understated.

The linebacker spot was once an area of formidable strength for the Panthers. Teams were hesitant to do anything across the middle for most of the 2010s. And this is a situation that could change considerably next time around.

Continuing our countdown feature ahead of the new season, we now turn our attention to a Carolina legend who wore No. 58 proudly and could be embarking on his final season in the NFL. Thomas Davis will go down in folklore as one of the team’s greatest ever players. And he will be linking up once again with his former head coach Ron Rivera in 2020.

Father time waits for no man. And Davis did show signs of regression with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2019, which prompted his release from the organization.

Davis wasn’t without a franchise for long after he agreed to join Washington on a one-year deal that is worth $3.5 million. The player is slotted to start at linebacker at 37-years-old. But it remains to be seen whether he still has enough in the tank to make a notable impact.

Can former Panthers LB Thomas Davis return to the player of old?

There is little doubt that Davis was one of the most ferocious players to ever put on a Panthers’ uniform. He turned up to every game with ruthless aggression that was matched by a superb football IQ to get around the ball consistently.

His partnership with Kuechly at the second level was nothing short of prolific. And this was especially evident during Carolina’s memorable 2015 campaign that saw them come within a whisker of securing an elusive Vince Lombardi Trophy.

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Davis deserves a significant amount of credit for prolonging his career at a position that comes with physical confrontation on almost every down. His track record speaks for itself. And Washington does have some nice young pieces that are going to benefit considerably from his presence.

The player has plenty of pride. And he will not want his glittering career to go out with a whimper.

However, Davis has plenty of questions to answer after a disappointing campaign with the Chargers. And although his mind might still be sharp, his physical decline is something that brings a serious red flag.

The linebacker ended his 13-year career in Carolina with some impressive stats. The former Panthers’ star amassed 789 solo tackles, 87 tackles for loss, 59 quarterback hits, 28 sacks, and 52 forced fumbles.

His legacy with the organization is everlasting. But you are only as good as your last season. And Davis goes into 2020 with plenty to prove.

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