After spending his entire 14-year playing career with the Carolina Panthers, Thomas Davis is coming west to suit up for the Los Angeles Chargers.
The move came as a bit of a surprise as Davis wasn’t linked to the Chargers by many, but Tom Telesco is known to pull off some unconventional moves from time to time.
It will be easy for those who aren’t high on this move to point to Davis’ age. He turns 36 years old in just over a week. At the same time, it will be easy for fans of the team to call this a “great move” just because the team finally decided to make one.
Let’s try to find a happy medium here.
Davis’ best days may be behind him, but Telesco wants to make sure his linebacking corps not only has good, young players but experience as well. Davis, a former Walter Payton Man of the Year, will bring a level of leadership the Chargers may be sorely lacking on the defensive side of the ball.
Davis has the ability to be that coach on the field that teams love to have. And despite his age, he’s still a guy who goes out and lines up on the majority of his team’s defensive plays.
He’s also a player who got better as his career progressed. He was probably worthy of a selection to the Pro Bowl before his first trip there in 2015, but he then went on to be voted to three straight Pro Bowls. In addition, he had over 100 tackles every year from 2012 to 2016.
The Chargers have a young group of linebackers, including Denzel Perryman, Uchenna Nwosu, Kyzir White and Jatavis Brown. Davis can work with each one of these players and provide something they haven’t had before.
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Then there are the terms of the deal. Davis reportedly agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million deal. With the money being thrown around by some of these teams since the start of free agency, this is a sensible deal which gives the Chargers plenty of room to bring in more help.
Telesco was clear in what he wanted here and it appears he got his man. He knows that the middle of the Chargers’ defense needed to get stronger and Davis, more for the wisdom he’ll bring with him than anything, is a great signing.
While signing a 36-year old player is almost never going to be a home run unless you’re name is Peyton Manning, this is one that could really work out.