Panthers legend Thomas Davis says he is 'definitely' retiring after 2018 season
Davis has spent his entire career in Carolina and is the team's all-time leading tackler
The Carolina Panthers are in a time of change -- from to their -- and those changes will eventually involve linebacker Thomas Davis. On Friday, Davis revealed in an interview with NFL Media's Brooke Cersosimo that he will "definitely" retire after the 2018 season.
"For me, I really can't see me playing past the 2018 season," he said. "This will definitely be my last year coming up. One of the reasons is I want to continue my contractual obligations. I signed on for a one-year extension, and I want to complete that. I've never been a guy to quit anything and I'm not going to start doing that now."
He cited his kids as a reason why he's planning on stepping away.
"As a father, I want to be able to spend as much time with them as I possibly can -- and being an NFL player, that's not always the case," he said.
Davis, a former first-round pick out of Georgia, is a Panthers legend. He has spent his entire career, which began in 2005, with the organization, totaling 750 solo tackles, 28 sacks and 13 interceptions. He's the team's all-time leading tackler. He has been to two Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro in 2015. That same season, Thomas helped lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl, .
This post is not about me, or how tough I am. It's not to shine any light on me or my injuries. Our team doctors and trainers did an amazing job giving me an opportunity to get back on the field. This post is strictly to show how much love I have for my brothers and #PantherNation. Thank you all for your support and we will #KeepPounding.-TD
"It's very unfair," Davis said of the criticism, via ESPN.com's David Newton. "I've seen a lot of stuff that's being said. Obviously, people are going to form their own opinions based on what they saw. At the end of the day, I know for 13 years I've played the game the right way. I can rest easy on it."
Despite all of his individual success, Davis has yet to win a Super Bowl, which he mentioned in his interview with Cersosimo.
"Super Bowl ring. That's it," he said. "That's the reason why you play this game. It's not about the money. It's not about being famous. It's about competing with your teammates and going out and winning a ring. That's eluded me for 13 years now."
The Panthers figure to at least be in the Super Bowl conversation in 2018 after their 11-5 season ended with a last-second loss in the wild-card round. We'll see if they can give him a Ray Lewis-esque departure like the Ravens did in 2012.
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