The man considered the heart and soul of the Carolina Panthers defense will not be returning to the team next season.
In an emotional video posted on Twitter last night, Thomas Davis said the Panthers on Monday told him they were going in "a different direction at the linebacker position" and will not be re-signing him.
"It was extremely tough for me to deal with," Davis said. "That’s why you guys are just hearing from me right now because I wanted to be back, I wanted to be a part of a group that came and just right the wrongs that we had this season."
Davis, 35, said he takes some of the responsibility for the Panthers' disappointing season, which included 7 consecutive losses.
Davis was a Panthers first-round draft pick in 2005 and has spent his entire NFL career with the team. He is the Panthers' all-time tackles leader, a three-time Pro-Bowl selection and according to ESPN, the first player in NFL history to return following three ACL surgeries on the same knee.
"I [want] to thank the Carolina Panthers organization," Davis said. "I want to thank my teammates. Man, you guys have been amazing for 14 very special years that I will always remember, I will always cherish. I want to thank you guys for those."
Davis said he is not retiring. He will become an unrestricted free agent when the new season begins in March.