Thomas Davis said in January 2018 he was eyeing one more season and a retirement as a Panther. But in June of last year, he reopened the door to his career extending beyond 2018.
The four-game PED suspension played a key role in the veteran linebacker deciding to return for a 15th season. He is now attached to a two-year, $10.5MM Chargers deal.
“In my mind, going into last season, that was the thought process,” Davis said, via The Athletic’s Rich Hammond, of retiring after 2018, “that I would go in and have a good season and play well. But then, after being out for that time, you start to realize how much you really love the game, and I thought if I could still go out and compete at a high level, then there was no thought in my mind at that point that I was going to shut it down.”
Although entering his age-36 season, Davis is projected to be a Chargers starter. After seven years of the Davis-Luke Kuechly partnership, the Panthers moved on. Shaq Thompson is in position to be Kuechly’s new three-down sidekick, with Thomas announcing in January that the Panthers were moving in this direction.
Davis chose the Bolts quickly in free agency, citing the talent on the team’s roster — in particular Philip Rivers — as why he opted to move across the country. The Bolts went 12-4 last season — their first double-digit win total since 2009 — and return one of the NFL’s most balanced rosters.