Longtime Panthers LB Thomas Davis will not return to team next season

Longtime Panthers LB Thomas Davis will not return to team next season

Thomas Davis will not be returning to the Panthers.

The 35-year-old linebacker has spent his entire 14-year career with Carolina. But, he announced Wednesday on Twitter he would not be back with the team next season.

Davis was told the Panthers were “going to go in a different direction with the linebacker position.”

“It is extremely tough for me to deal with,” Davis said. “I wanted to be back. I wanted to be a part of a group that came and wrote the wrongs that we had this season. As one of the leaders of this team, I took full responsibility for some of the things that we allowed to happen.”

Davis tallied 79 total tackles, two fumble recoveries and six pass breakups in 12 games for the Panthers last season.

The 35-year-old was originally drafted by Carolina out of Georgia with the 14th pick in the 2005 draft. He registered 28 sacks, 1,111 total tackles and made three Pro Bowls during his time with the Panthers.

“I just want to thank the Carolina Panthers,” Davis said. “I want to thank my teammates — you guys have been amazing. Fourteen very special years that I will always remember, that I will always cherish. To Panther nation, I cannot thank you guys enough for the love and support.”

Davis said he’s not planning to retire.

“I feel like I have way too much football left in me to walk away from the game right now,” Davis said. “I want to keep playing and I’m going to keep playing. Hopefully someone is going to give me that opportunity.”

The Panthers started last season by winning six of their first eight games. But they lost seven in a row and finished 2018 with a 7-9 record.