Per the National Football Post, Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis has said that he’s not done yet in the NFL.
“”And for those of you who have asked, NO way am I going to retire.”
“Met with Dr. Andrews today. He doesn’t see a reason why I wont be able to play next season. Having surgery in the a.m.”
-Thomas Davis, via his twitter account.
Davis is scheduled to go under the knife on his right knee for the 3rd straight season after tearing his ACL in week 2 action vs. the Green Bay Packers in the Panthers home opener.
Just a week after seeing team mate and the heart and soul of the Panthers defence, linebacker Jon Beason go down with a torn Achilles in the season opener at Arizona, Davis is standing his ground and plans to go through the rehabilitation process and line up for the 2012-13 NFL season.
But the team that Davis will be lining up for, remains the biggest question of all, after the question of whether or not he can come back and stay healthy – the biggest concern for Carolina.
Davis, 28, recently signed a 5 year, $36.5 million dollar contract extension this offseason however, the Panthers protected themselves with an $8 million signing bonus guarantee – if such a thing were to happen again. They can cut ties with Davis in 2012 by not exercising the bonus on the third day of the next league year. The alleged five-year deal was actually a one-year, $8 million deal. The Panthers are most likely to release Davis unless a re-worked contract can be agreed upon and some insurance and linebacker is brought in. In that case, the starting job at weak side linebacker will be one position to watch coming into next season’s training camp.
On the field and when healthy, Davis can be game changing. He was having a Pro Bowl year in 2009-10 before injuring his knee for the first time. A former safety drafted out of Georgia, he made a name for himself in his rookie season when former Panthers head coach used Davis in a “spy” role on the Falcons QB, Michael Vick. The Panthers went onto contain Vick and win the game, Davis and the defence being the main reason why. After playing one season at safety, Davis made the move to linebacker the following season and has been a phenomenal, ever-improving player and fan favorite ever since.