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Panthers’ Thomas Davis announces retirement, following 2018 season

CHARLOTTE (AP) — Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis says the 2018 season will be his last.

Davis confirmed his decision during an appearance on NFL Network on Friday. While the Panthers didn’t make an official announcement, the team posted a picture of Davis on its Twitter page with the word “Respect.”

Davis said he made his decision when the team signed him to a contract extension through 2018. He said he had been seeking an extension through 2019.

“For me, it was a no-brainer,” Davis said. “Like, ‘This is how long they want me here for.’ This is how much time I have to dedicate to this organization to try to win a Super Bowl, and that’s my mindset.”

Davis, 34, was Carolina’s first-round draft pick in 2005 and has spent his entire career with the Panthers. He’s seventh in team history with 13 career interceptions and eighth with 28 sacks.

In 2014, Davis was named the league’s Walter Payton Man of the Year. Sandwiched around that honor were All-Pro honors in 2013 and 2015. During the last six seasons, Davis has missed just three games despite the last of three ACL repairs.

After the Panthers lost to the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs last weekend, Davis said he expects to have a reduced role in 2018 as Shaq Thompson gets more time.

Davis was suspended for one game late in the season for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams.

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