3 factors that made Thomas Davis an all-time Panthers great

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Thomas Davis
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Thomas Davis /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Thomas Davis /


Thomas Davis was a true leader in every sense of the word.

Both on and off the field.

His ability to motivate his teammates was unquestioned almost from the moment he finally earned a prominent starting role with the Carolina Panthers. Being a first-round pick was a responsibility Davis took extremely seriously and there is little doubt he played a significant role in Luke Kuechly being able to hit the ground running after the pair formed a close bond from the outset.

However, Davis’ desire to become a valued member of the community made his efforts off the field enhance his lasting legacy with the Panthers even further.

This earned Davis the distinction of Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2014, which is one of the more coveted accolades bestowed on a player every year. He set up the Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation alongside his wife Kelly, which is a non-profit organization that was implemented with a view to enhancing the quality of life for underprivileged children and their families.

If that wasn’t enough, Davis provides college scholarships for two people who complete their Youth Leadership Academy program through the foundation, organized Christmas gift giveaways in North and South Carolina, distributed Thanksgiving meals for a women’s shelter, and hosted annual programs for back-to-school supplies for those less fortunate.

If Carolina had any sense whatsoever, they would sign Davis to a one-day contract and ensure he retires as a Panther.

He deserves it after everything he gave to the team and the region for more than a decade. Davis’ contribution will not be forgotten in a hurry and he clearly left a lasting legacy that made the area a better place.