Thomas Davis announced Wednesday that he will sign a one-day contract to officially retire as a Carolina Panther.
Davis initially announced his decision to retire in December before his final regular-season game with the Washington Football Team, which released him earlier on Wednesday even though he was slated to become a free agent in two weeks.
“The time has finally come and I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting me along this journey. The Washington Football Team has agreed to release me so that on March 11th, I will officially be returning to the place that my heart has been all along,” Davis wrote on Instagram. By signing a one day contract, I will retire from the @nfl as a Carolina Panther. @panthers thank you from the bottom of my heart for this opportunity.”
The NFL veteran spent 16 years in the league after being selected No. 14 overall by Carolina in the 2005 draft. He made three consecutive Pro Bowl appearances from 2015 to 2017 and was named First Team All-Pro when the Panthers made their Super Bowl run in 2015.
The linebacker stayed with the franchise from 2005-18, and set a standard for his ability to come back from injury. He's the only player in NFL history to return after tearing his ACL in the same knee three times, which he notes on his cleats.
Davis almost ended his career in 2018, but decided to play a few more years. He and the Panthers parted ways, and he joined the Los Angeles Chargers in 2019, starting all 16 games. Davis reunited with Ron Rivera this past season when he signed with the WFT, but Davis only played seven games.