Thomas Davis

Panthers’ Thomas Davis To Retire After 2018

Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis has one more year left in him. The veteran tells Brooke Cersosimo of NFL.com (on Twitter) that the 2018 campaign will be his last. Thomas Davis (vertical)

Davis inked a one-year, $6.75MM extension with the Panthers in August, granting him $2MM this past year plus $1MM guaranteed in the coming season. He is aware that he may be asked to take a reduced role in 2018, but he might not be okay with being relegated to a backup role.

The Panthers’ Super Bowl hopes were dashed last week when they fell to the rival Saints in the opening round of the playoffs. In his swan song, Davis is hoping to capture the Super Bowl ring that has eluded him thus far in his 12-year career.

Davis finished out the year with 76 total tackles and 2.5 sacks. He appeared in 15 regular season games with his lone missed contest coming as the result of a suspension.

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Panthers Rumors: Hurney, Johnson, Davis

The Panthers’ offseason began on Sunday after a tough loss to the rival Saints. With an eye on the Panthers’ offseason, here’s the latest out of Carolina:

NFL Reduces LB Thomas Davis’ Suspension

The NFL has officially reduced Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis‘ suspension from two games to one, the league announced today.Thomas Davis

Davis was originally banned two games after a helmet-to-helmet hit on Packers wide receiver Davante Adams on Sunday. The NFL has seemingly developed a pattern for these type of offenses: an original two-game suspension, followed by a reduction to one game. It’s the same formula the league used for Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan, who coincidentally was also suspended following a hit on Adams.

Now that his ban has been lessened, Davis will miss the Panthers’ next game against the Buccaneers but will now be available for Carolina’s regular season finale against the Falcons. The Panthers, for what it’s worth, are nearly a lock to earn a postseason berth, but have just a 17% chance at winning the NFC South, per FiveThirtyEight.

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NFL Suspends Panthers’ Thomas Davis

The NFL announced a two-game suspension for Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis. Davis will appeal, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). Thomas Davis

On Sunday, Davis leveled Packers receiver Davante Adams with a helmet-leading hit. NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan handed down the ban on Monday, citing Davis’ history of breaking the rules:

During an interception return, you took a path toward your opponent who was pursuing the play and delivered a violent and unnecessary blindside block to his head and neck area. You have been previously fined for violations of safety-related rules. Your actions yesterday warrant an escalation of discipline, not only because they were flagrant, but also because of your status as a repeat offender.”

It seems unlikely that Davis will get the entire suspension overturned, but he could have the ban cut in half. As it stands, however, Davis is slated to miss the team’s final two regular season games against the Buccaneers and Falcons.

The Panthers have nearly solidified their place as one of the NFC’s Wild Card teams. They still have a 24% chance of overtaking the Saints for the NFC South title, according to the New York Times’ playoff calculator.

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Panthers Rumors: Davis, Olsen, Kuechly

Thomas Davis provided some clarification about his health this week, making a slight correction to his wife’s assessment of an injury with which he’s dealing. During a TV interview, Kelly Davis said her husband was broken “completely broken ribs” for several weeks. The longest-tenured Panthers player said (via David Newton of ESPN.com) his wife didn’t lie and he is dealing with a broken bone in that area, but only one rib is affected. The 13th-year linebacker added the injury has healed to the point he doesn’t have to treat it any further. The Panthers called Kelly Davis’ comments “heartfelt” but “overstated,” noting Thomas Davis did appear on the team’s injury report for multiple weeks due to a rib ailment. Having started each of Carolina’s seven games this season, the linebacker is not in danger of missing Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers.

Here’s the latest out of Charlotte.

  • Greg Olsen says he’ll test his surgically repaired foot on the field next week, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer writes. That’s when Olsen will first become eligible to resume practicing after going on IR in Week 3. If he’s healthy enough, Olsen could suit up again in mid-November. League rules dictate that players can return from IR after spending eight weeks on the list.
  • Ryan Kalil has played in just two of Carolina’s seven games this season and is unlikely to see action Sunday, although Ron Rivera said the longtime center could play in an emergency situation. Kalil’s dealing with a neck injury, one he aggravated in Week 7 after returning to the lineup. Rivera said (via Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer, on Twitter) the Panthers are not ready to discuss an IR move for the 11th-year snapper. Tyler Larsen has started in Kalil’s place.
  • Luke Kuechly is in the final stage of concussion protocol, needing to be cleared by an independent doctor in order to play this week. The All-Pro middle linebacker practiced fully all week, per Newton, and is just more than two weeks removed from the latest concussion he suffered. Signs point to Kuechly playing against the Bucs. Should Kuechly return after missing just one game, it will mark his shortest concussion-induced absence as an NFLer. He missed three games in 2015 and six last season because of head injuries.
  • Rivera added the Panthers will get Kurt Coleman back after three missed games. The safety missed time because of a knee injury.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

Panthers, Thomas Davis Agree To Extension

The Panthers and Thomas Davis have agreed to an extension. It will be a one-year, $6.75MM add-on for 2018, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The new pact also gives him an additional $2MM guaranteed for the coming year plus $1MM guaranteed in 2018.Thomas Davis (vertical)

[RELATED: Panthers Want To Extend OL Andrew Norwell]

Davis, 34, started in all 16 games last season and led all Panthers defenders in snaps. He proved that he has plenty of good football left as he tallied 106 tackles, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and a touchdown.

Many believed that Davis would get the extension he was seeking once GM Dave Gettleman was fired and Marty Hurney was brought back in as the GM on an interim basis. Hurney insisted that this time around, he would not allow his emotional attachment to players to dictate his business decisions. Davis and Hurney do have history together, but Hurney believes that this was the right move to make from a football and business perspective.

Davis is coming off of his second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance. Last year, he graded out the 39th best linebacker in the entire NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. If he can continue to play at that level, the extension will prove to be a win for Carolina. If he declines in 2017, the Panthers can escape the deal pretty easily.

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Talks Ongoing For Panthers, Thomas Davis

Before his surprise firing, Dave Gettleman engaged in extension talks with Thomas Davis‘ camp. The new Panthers regime led by Marty Hurney has been in place just over a week, but negotiations have apparently picked up again. The linebacker told reporters on Wednesday morning that talks are “ongoing,” (Twitter link via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer). Thomas Davis (vertical)

[RELATED: Tight End Greg Olsen Changes Course]

Tight end Greg Olsen backed off from his contract demands on Tuesday, citing a desire to avoid further distractions for Carolina. Davis’ situation is a bit different, however, since he has only one year to go versus the two years left on Olsen’s pact. Davis’ relationship with Hurney may help his cause, though the interim GM has promised to focus on analytics over emotion going forward.

Davis, 34, started in all 16 games last season and led all Panthers defenders in snaps. He proved that he has plenty of good football left as he tallied 106 tackles, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and a touchdown.

Davis’ current deal calls for an $8.25MM cap hit in 2017.

 

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Panthers, Davis Have Discussed Extension

Before his stunning firing as Carolina’s general manager on Monday, Dave Gettleman reportedly wasn’t in any hurry to sign Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis or tight end Greg Olsen to contract extensions. However, speaking with Kelsey Riggs of WCNC on Tuesday, Davis revealed that he and the Gettleman-led Panthers did discuss a new deal.

Thomas Davis

“We had actually engaged in contract talks. They presented something and we presented something back and we were just in the process of negotiating,” said Davis, who added that it’s “really sad and disappointing” and “unfair” that the contract situations of him and Olsen have been partly attributed to Gettleman’s ouster.

Talks with Gettleman “were going well,” according to Davis, who’s “thankful that the organization is willing to do it.” Given that the organization is led by owner Jerry Richardson, who reportedly counts Davis among his favorite players, odds of an extension seem high.

Despite Davis’ advanced age, the 34-year-old presented a compelling argument for a new contract last season, his 11th as a Panther, when he secured his second Pro Bowl nod. That honor came after Davis logged his fifth 16-start campaign, led Panthers defenders in snaps (1,009) and totaled 106 tackles, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a touchdown.

While Thomas’ rating at Pro Football Focus was less impressive than his traditional numbers – the outlet ranked his performance a middling 43rd among 88 qualified linebackers – it’s clear he has established himself as both a dependable player and a heart-and-soul member of the franchise. Beyond that, there could be further incentive for the Panthers to extend Davis. By locking him up past 2017, they’d perhaps reduce his current cap hit ($8.25MM).

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NFC Notes: Rodgers, Panthers, Elliott, Cards

The Packers have not discussed a contract extension for Aaron Rodgers with his agent, David Dunn, the quarterback told a Milwaukee TV station last week (via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com). Given that Rodgers still has three years left on the deal he signed in 2013, the Packers don’t have to work anything out imminently. However, on the possibility of Rodgers becoming the NFL’s highest-paid player again in the near future, team president Mark Murphy admitted to Demovsky, “You need to plan for it.” Unsurprisingly, Murphy added that the franchise regards re-upping the two-time league MVP as a priority. Rodgers topped all NFLers when he signed his five-year, $110MM deal four years ago, but salaries around him have increased significantly. As a result, the 33-year-old is set to rake in just the sixth-highest amount at his own position this season ($22MM).

More from the NFC:

  • Prior to his firing on Monday, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman wasn’t in a rush to sign linebacker Thomas Davis or tight end Greg Olsen to contract extensions, as Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer writes. With Gettleman now out of the picture, Davis and Olsen could cash in over the next couple weeks, suggests Person, who relays that those two are owner Jerry Richardson’s favorite players. Given that Richardson’s running the show for the GM-less Panthers at the moment, he’s free to lock up the pair of veteran cornerstones.
  • While some of Carolina’s ex-players have taken pleasure in Gettleman’s ouster, current Panthers offensive tackle Michael Oher is upset over his departure. In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Oher noted that Gettleman has been supportive of him during his nearly yearlong recovery from concussion issues, writing: “While on the plane headed to see Concussion specialist Mickey Collins I learned Dave Gettleman has been dismissed . . . this is news that I hated to hear . . . in this business you don’t build personal relationships but I can honestly say I had one with Mr. G . . . he is the only person Besides R. V (team trainer Ryan Vermillion) and Dr. Heyer who has constantly checked on my well being, condition and state of mind that I’ve been suffering from my injury. Guy really cares about you as a person just not the player . . . also is interested in how your family is as well . . . hated to hear that news but I know he’ll be fine . . . and for the people who were happy and had something do with it downstairs, Karma’s a MF!!”
  • In addition to the incident that transpired over the weekend, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is also facing a misdemeanor charge for speeding. He is appealing that conviction, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes. The running back is accused of going 100 mph in a 70 mph zone back in April.
  • Tight end, cornerback and running back stand out as positions the Cardinals could address this summer, observes Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. Aside from starter Jermaine Gresham, the Cardinals lack established options at tight end, where Troy Niklas and Ifeanyi Momah have dealt with injuries and Hakeem Valles is coming off a rookie season spent mostly on special teams. The Cards may bolster their depth at corner, but they won’t make any Darrelle Revis-esque splashes in free agency, according to Somers. At running back, head coach Bruce Arians is seemingly content with Kerwynn Williams backing up superstar David Johnson, though there could be room for free agent Chris Johnson‘s return if Andre Ellington and the Cards’ young reserves don’t show well in the coming weeks, per Somers.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Latest On Panthers TE Greg Olsen

When Panthers GM Dave Gettleman gets back from vacation this week, his first order of business will be to work on an extension with linebacker Thomas Davis, a source tells Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Meanwhile, the team has not discussed a new deal with tight end Greg Olsen and Gettleman has yet to show any indication that he is willing to give him a reworked contract. Greg Olsen/Thomas Davis (vertical)

Olsen is hoping for a new deal that will reflect his status as one of the game’s most productive tight ends. The 32-year-old is scheduled to earn base salaries of $6.5MM in the next two seasons while counting for $10.35MM and $9.75MM on the Panthers’ salary cap in those respective years. The three-year extension that Olsen signed prior to the 2015 season included a $12MM signing bonus, so the Panthers might not be so quick to give him additional money for the next two years.

Recently, when discussing his contract situation, Olsen did not rule out the possibility of a training camp holdout. Over the weekend, agent Drew Rosenhaus also hinted at the possibility, cautioning that players like Olsen do not want to “exercise” their “leverage” unless it’s necessary. If Olsen skips camp, he’ll be docked $40K for every day he misses.

Davis, 34, said earlier this summer that he is hoping for an extension that will take him beyond 2017. The veteran is coming off of his second straight Pro Bowl appearance after totaling 106 tackles, three picks, and two fumble recoveries.

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