Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis is retiring after the 2018 season

Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis is retiring after the 2018 season

While the Panthers didn't make an official announcement, the team posted a picture of Davis on its Twitter page with the word "Respect".

Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis can see the handwriting on the wall regarding his reduced role, and as a result he reportedly said the 2018 season will be his last in the NFL.

Davis cited the desire to spend more time with his kids after fulfilling his contract with the Panthers, which runs through 2018 after an extra year was tacked on to the deal in August. He said he had been seeking an extension through 2019.

"This was a tough year for me", Davis said. "Shaq [Thompson] has definitely earned the right, and when you look at [David] Mayo, he's coming along".

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He also has only missed three games in the last six seasons, following his third ACL fix.

He has 1,015 career tackles, 28 sacks, 13 interceptions, 18 forced fumbles and 9 fumble recoveries.

Davis, 34, told NFL.com's Brooke Cersosimo that he plans to retire after the 2018 season with the Panthers, and he's spent his entire 13-year career with the franchise. A bit of a late bloomer, Davis did not make a Pro Bowl in any of his first 10 seasons but made back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2015 and 2016.

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