Panthers veteran LB Thomas Davis tells Kelsey Riggs that they’ve exchanged contract proposals regarding an extension before the team surprisingly fired GM Dave Gettleman on Monday.
“We had actually engaged in contract talks,” Davis said. “They presented something and we presented something back and we were just in the process of negotiating.”
After the Panthers announced that they had relieved Gettleman of his duties, speculation started circulating that part of the reason for Gettleman’s dismissal could be due to the lack of progress regarding new contract for Davis and TE Greg Olsen.
However, Davis said he finds this speculation disappointing and his situation had nothing to do with the team moving on from Gettleman.
“That’s what you do when you’re dealing with contracts and it’s really sad and disappointing when you hear all the people that’s saying that the reason Mr. Gettleman was released was because of me or Greg,” Davis said. “I think that’s an unfair statement. I think that’s something that you guys are giving us too much credit. We’re not that important in the grand scheme of things and intimately Mr. Richardson made a decision and it’s something that we’re all going to live with.”
Davis previously mentioned during an interview with WFNZ that he plans to play beyond the 2017 season and is hoping to finish out his career in Carolina.
“From a football standpoint and a community standpoint, Charlotte is always going to be home for me, and that’s my mindset,” Davis said. “I feel like there are a lot of people within our organization who feel the same way about me. But at the end of the day, it is a business and I understand that. Whatever happens moving forward there won’t be any hard feelings from me. But I definitely plan on extending my career beyond this year.
“Hopefully that would never come to fruition with me that I would have to play for another team. That’s not something that I look to do. And hopefully we can get something worked out here soon in terms of a contract extension. I don’t think you’ll find a player who cares more about the organization or a team than I do the Carolina Panthers. It goes above and beyond being a football player. I totally embrace the ‘Keep Pounding’ motto and it’s part of my lifestyle and everything I do.”
Davis, 34, is in the final year of his three-year, $18 million contract that includes $11.5 million guaranteed. He stands to make a base salary of $3.25 million for the 2017 season before testing the open market as an unrestricted free agent in 2018.
In 2016, Davis appeared in all 16 games for the Panthers and recorded 106 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three interceptions, a forced fumble, two recoveries with one being returned for a touchdown and four pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 39 linebacker out of 87 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding a new deal for Davis as the news is available.