Thomas Davis is officially calling it a career.
The former All-Pro linebacker announced on Instagram he is following through with his plans to retire after 16 seasons. But first, he will spend another day with the franchise he starred on. Davis was released by Washington on Wednesday, a procedural move that will allow him to sign a one-day contract with the Carolina Panthers next week.
"The time has finally come and I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting me along this journey," Davis wrote. "The Washington Football Team, @washingtonnfl, 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. 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. Thank you @nflfilms & @jmohamed_83 for this video. I hope you all enjoy!"
Carolina selected Davis in the first round of the 2005 draft, commencing a 14-year partnership with plenty of turns. The Georgia product became a starter in his second year and a star by his fourth. He then suffered torn ACLs in the same knee in three consecutive years. He ultimately returned better than ever, making three Pro Bowls and the 2015 All-Pro first-team, a campaign in which he catapulted the defensive-led Panthers to the Super Bowl.
Davis was also the recipient of the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and 2016 Bart Starr Award, both of which celebrated his contributions on and off the field.
His final two seasons came with the Chargers, where he shined (112 tackles), and Washington, which reunited him with previous head coach Ron Rivera. Davis was often a healthy scratch in 2020 and appeared in just seven games.
Still, he finishes with 1,216 tackles, including 90 for loss, 29 sacks, 18 forced fumbles and 13 interceptions.
And an indelible mark on the league.