Panthers pick up 2014, 2015 options on Thomas Davis

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Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis made a remarkable return to the field after three ACL tears and surgeries and the Panthers have responded to that return by locking him up for the next two years.

A league source tells PFT that the Panthers have exercised both the 2014 and 2015 options on Davis’ contract. Davis is now set to make $13.5 million over the next two years and $6 million next season in salary and bonuses.

Davis played just nine games between 2009 and 2011 because of his knee injuries, but returned to play 15 games in 2012. His 2013 performance was a big reason why the Panthers wound up winning the NFC South as Davis played every game and recorded 123 tackles and four sacks to help lead one of the best defenses in the league.

With Davis locked up, the Panthers will now presumably turn even more of their focus toward making a decision about the future of defensive end Greg Hardy. Hardy was another big reason for the success in Carolina last season and he’s set to cash in one way or another as a free agent this offseason.