Thomas Davis, one of Carolina Panthers’ all-time greatest players, to retire after 2020 season

Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis reacts during the national anthem before an...
Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis reacts during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Cleveland. Cleveland won 26-20. (AP Photo/David Richard)(David Richard | ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Updated: Dec. 29, 2020 at 11:03 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Thomas Davis, one of the Carolina Panthers’ greatest players who spent 14 seasons with the team, says he is retiring at the end of the season, ending a 16-year NFL career.

Davis, often referred to as “TD” is at or near the top of many different all-time statistical categories for the franchise. Davis left the team as the Panthers’ all-time tackles leader with 1,258. He had seven 100-tackle campaigns.

The 2005 first-round draft pick out of Georgia made three Pro Bowls with the Panthers and was an All-Pro in 2015 during the 15-1 Panthers Super Bowl run.

Davis had 1,216 tackles, including 90 for loss, 29 sacks, 18 forced fumbles and 13 interceptions in his career.

Davis also was the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year.

He spent the 2019 season with the Los Angeles Chargers before reuniting with Ron Rivera in Washington in 2020.

Davis announced his decision to call it a career with a post on Instagram, with a caption under a picture of his cleats, that detailed his accomplishments and his recovery from three ACL tears.

“This weekend will be my last regular season football game ever. @mache275 helped me go down memory lane and reflect on a few things that I’ve been able to accomplish over my 16 yrs of being in the @nfl Sometimes things can happen that cause you to feel unworthy, just know that No man can steal what God had already planned for your life! I’m extremely blessed and thankful for every opportunity that I’ve earned because nothing is ever given to you! You work your butt off and you pray that God’s plan aligns with yours!,” Davis wrote.

A visibly emotional Davis released a video on his Twitter account on Jan 9, 2019 announcing that he had been informed by the Panthers management that they would be going in a “different direction” moving forward and that he would not be a part of their roster in 2019.

Thomas Davis announces departure from Panthers

Davis said the Panthers broke the news to him that Monday.

“It is extremely tough to deal with,” said Davis in the nearly two and a half minute Twitter video. “I wanted to be back and I wanted to be a part of a group that came and just right the wrongs that we had this season.”

The decision to move on, Davis explained, was not his own and he noted that this situation was “extremely tough” for him.

“I’ve loved and cherished every moment that we’ve had in Carolina,” said Davis.

The longtime leader of the Panthers defense has announced that the team decided to move "in a different direction.” For...

Posted by WBTV News on Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Davis and his wife Kelly were beloved in Charlotte. The couple began the Defending Dreams Foundation in 2008. The foundation mentored kids, raised money and offered college scholarships.

The foundation hosted its third scholarship dinner in 2020 to announce the $40,000 in scholarships to five of its Thomas Davis Youth Leadership Academy students.

In June 2020, Davis pledged $100,000 to help with a cause to bail out fathers for Father’s Day in Charlotte.

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