Longtime Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis wants to come back. He’s made that much clear.
And since he’s about to be a free agent, it’s less of a negotiation and something close to begging at this point.
“That’s the one thing that I look at that, more so than anything, that would not allow me to go play for another team,” Davis said Monday, via Marcel Louis-Jacques of the Charlotte Observer. “It’s the one thing that I look at and I focus in on that I would say I would never want to go play for another team. You know, you play somewhere your entire career — that’s special. That means something to me, to be able to say I played all of my career for one team.”
Davis was the Panthers’ first-round pick in 2005, and they stuck with him through three torn ACLs, and he played in a Super Bowl with a broken arm for them. So the bond is deep.
Deeper than their pockets at the moment, as they have significant issues to address this offseason (both lines, a quarterback who can actually play if Cam Newton can’t because of his shoulder, etc.).
So there’s a chance Davis is viewed as a luxury rather than a need for his 15th season, and he acknowledged that he’s taken pay cuts before (post-ACLs).
“Have you seen how much money I make?” he said (he made nearly $4 million last year). “I’ve already taken a pay cut. . . .
“Whatever I need to do to make sure that we get it done and I’m still here. It’s a negotiation, so this will be something that will take place. It’ll happen and we’ll see what happens coming from there.”
It’s only a negotiation when two sides are participating, and so far the Panthers haven’t joined him. And since he’s made it clear that he really, really wants to stay, they can enter the process knowing it won’t be as expensive as it used to be.