CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis will retire after the 2018 season, the two-time Pro Bowl selection told NFL.com on Friday.

Davis, who will turn 35 in March, signed in training camp a one-year extension through the 2018 season with the intention of it being his last. He said at the time the deal would allow him to retire as a member of the Panthers, who selected him in the first round of the 2005 draft.

“Everybody knows how I feel about being a Carolina Panther,” Davis said during camp. “This extension solidifies me being here for the rest of my career, and I’m excited about that.

“Now it’s totally focused on winning a Super Bowl.” Davis is Carolina’s all-time leading tackler with 1,015. He had 76 tackles this past season, the first time since 2011when he suffered a third ACL tear in his right knee that he did not have at least 100 tackles. Davis said on Monday after the Panthers lost an NFC wild card game against New Orleans that he planned to honor the last year of his contract, but likely wouldn’t be an every-down player as he has been. “Being in my 13th year, I’m pretty sure coming back next year that it will be in a reduced role,” Davis said. “Shaq [Thompson] has definitely earned the right, and when you look at [David] Mayo, he’s coming along. Obviously we still have Luke [Kuechly] here who is playing at an extremely high level.

“So we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes.”


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