Thomas Davis announced in December that the 2020 season would be his last. On Wednesday, the Washington Football Team released Davis so that he could retire as a member of the Carolina Panthers, his team for 13 of his 16 NFL seasons.
“The time has finally come and I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting me along this journey,” Thomas wrote via Instagram. “The Washington Football Team has agreed to release me so that on March 11th, I will officially be returning to the place that my heart has been all along. By signing a one day contract, I will retire from the NFL as a Carolina Panther. Panthers, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this opportunity.”
The 14th overall pick in the 2005 draft, Davis spent the first 13 years of his career with the Carolina Panthers. During his time in Carolina, Davis earned each of his three Pro Bowl selections, an All-Pro nod in 2015 and was the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year. With Davis on the roster, the Panthers won five division titles, including three straight from 2013-15. In 2015, the Panthers posted a 15-1 regular season record en route to the franchise’s second Super Bowl appearance. That season, Davis tallied 105 tackles, 5.5 sacks, four interceptions, four forced fumbles and seven passes defensed.
Davis spent the 2019 season with the Chargers before he was reunited with former Panthers coach Ron Rivera in Washington. In seven games, Davis recorded just six tackles. While he statistically did not provide much value, Davis provided veteran leadership for a young Washington team that won its first division title since 2015.