LA Chargers News

Chargers sign former Panthers’ Pro-Bowl LB Thomas Davis

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 25: Ed Dickson #84 of the Seattle Seahawks catches a pass against Thomas Davis #58 of the Carolina Panthers in the third quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 25: Ed Dickson #84 of the Seattle Seahawks catches a pass against Thomas Davis #58 of the Carolina Panthers in the third quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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After a quiet first day of legal tampering, Chargers’general manager Tom Telesco makes his first free agent move of the 2019 season…

The Los Angeles Chargers fill a need in free agency, this time with a veteran linebacker:

Three-time Pro Bowl LB Thomas Davis intends to sign with the LA Chargers, per source.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2019

After serving a four-game suspension for PED’s to open 2018, Thomas Davis started all 12 remaining games for the Carolina Panthers, racking up 79 combined tackles and six passes defended. Even at 35 years old, Davis played in 86.36 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in games he appeared in, grading out as PFF’s No. 19 linebacker last season.

Davis is a three-time Pro Bowl linebacker who has spent his entire career with the Carolina Panthers, becoming the team’s all-time leader in tackles.

This is reminiscent of a few “older” veteran players the Chargers have brought in before:

  • LB Takeo Spikes, 2011-2012: 184 tackles in final two NFL seasons with the Chargers
  • OLB Jarret Johnson, 2012-2014: 124 tackles, 5.5 sacks in final three NFL seasons with Chargers

Clearly, Thomas will not be the future of the linebacker position. He will likely play outside linebacker for the Chargers, a position vacated by the now-more-likely free agent departure of Kyle Emanuel. In terms of leadeship, this is a huge win for the defense. Davis is a player who only missed seven games in his past seven seasons due to injury, six of them due to suspension (PED’s and a dirty hit), breaking the 100-tackle mark in five of those seasons. After losing Denzel Perryman, Jatavis Brown, and Kyzir White to season-ending injuries, maybe a 36-year old linebacker is exactly what the team needs:

https://twitter.com/FootballUGA/status/1008867059244167168

This shouldn’t prevent the Chargers from taking a linebacker in the draft, though now the rookie will be behind both Perryman and Davis on the depth chart at their respective positions developing into a starter.

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