CHARLOTTE, NC – Pro Bowl third linebacker Thomas Davis will end his NFL career where it started in 2005.
Davis, 37, announced on Instagram on Wednesday that he would sign a one-day deal with the Carolina Panthers on March 11 so he can retire with the club. He was released by the Washington football team earlier today.
“I will officially go back to where my heart has always been,” Davis wrote on Instagram. “[Panthers] thank you from the bottom of my heart for this opportunity. “
Davis played his first 14 seasons with Carolina after being selected with the 14th pick in the 2005 NFL Draft in Georgia. He was released after the 2018 season, then spent 2019 with the Los Angeles Chargers and 2020 with former Panthers coach Ron Rivera in Washington.
At Carolina, Davis became the first player in NFL history to overcome ACL surgery on the same knee three times (right). His three Pro Bowl appearances came after the third operation. He also won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2014.
Davis, considered the heart and soul of the defense in Carolina’s Super Bowl 50 race in 2015, came into the title game two weeks after breaking his arm in the NFC Championship game. He made seven tackles in a 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos.
He remains Carolina’s all-time leader in tackles at 789, ahead of former teammate Luke Kuechly at 690.