Tag:Thomas Davis
Posted on: September 19, 2011 2:59 pm

Thomas Davis out for year with torn ACL (again)

Posted by Will Brinson

Cam Newton is the guy for the Panthers throwing for insane yardage and drawing all the headlines these days. He's going to have to keep doing that, too, as an already bad  Panthers defense is getting worse, and quickly. Just last week, Carolina lost All-Pro linebacker Jon Beason for the year with a torn Achilles. This time, it's Thomas Davis' turn.

The linebacker announced on Twitter (via Brian McIntyre) that he's out for the season with a torn ACL ... for the third-straight season.

"I would like 2 take the time and thank every1 that has supported me over my career," Davis tweeted. "Unfortunately, I have re torn my acl. Thx 4 da prayers!!"

This is a huge blow for the Panthers, of course, and a shame, because Davis appeared to have reclaimed the explosiveness that he flashed in previous years (particularly when he hawked Aaron Rodgers down from behind on Sunday).

But now he's done for the year and it's a particularly awkward injury because the Panthers inexplicably gave Davis a $7 million signing bonus when they inexplicably offered him a five-year contract as he came off his second-straight shortened year thanks to a torn ACL. (In fairness, just one of the years was guaranteed, but Davis was under team control for 2011 and barring an absolute explosion this year, probably wasn't going anywhere else.)

Davis is a great player when healthy, but there's just no reason to believe he can stay on the field after three consecutive seasons of bowing out early with a serious knee injury.

In terms of how this effects the Panthers right now, it's pretty devastating -- James Anderson is a sneaky stud at linebacker and Dan Connor's good at stopping the run, but one of the best linebacking corps in the NFL is suddenly one of the thinnest.

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Posted on: September 12, 2011 5:00 pm

Jon Beason out for year with torn Achilles

Posted by Will Brinson

The lockout was supposed to ravage NFL teams with injuries during the preseason. That didn't happen, but Week 1's been rough going for NFL teams injury-wise. The Panthers are the latest victim, as they lost All-Pro linebacker Jon Beason for the year thanks to a torn Achilles.

The worst part? Beason tore the Achilles while chasing down super-slow tight end (and former Panther) Jeff King as he rumbled for a 48-yard touchdown in the Panthers 28-21 loss to Arizona Sunday.

"I've got to give Jon credit. He was going 100 miles an hour when he went down," Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said Monday, via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. "It's just a shame thing. It's a freak thing. He's a warrior and I'll take those guys seven days a week."

Actually, the worst part is probably that Beason was rushed back -- Beason had surgery on his Achilles just a few weeks ago and, as my colleague Ryan Wilson noted then, was jeopardizing his consecutive-start streak by doing so.

Now that start streak is completely out the window, as Beason

"You can pretty much imagine what it’s going to be like to lose a leader like Jon," said Carolina outside linebacker Thomas Davis, via Steve Reed of CarolinaGrowl.com. "He's a guy who comes in day-in and day-out and gives you everything he has. It’s going to be extremely tough for us. But we have some guys who have to step up now."

The guy who will be asked to fill Beason's shoes is Dan Connor, a guy who saw a ton of playing time last year and who's a capable run-stopper. He's not nearly the player Beason is, of course, so the loss remains tremendous for the Panthers in terms of their defense being able to do what Rivera wants it to.

And the need to get Beason back by Week 1 -- clearly a concern -- suddenly looms like a large mistake.

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Posted on: September 9, 2011 11:40 pm

Charles Godfrey gets five-year, $27.5M extension

Posted by Will Brinson

The Carolina Panthers continued their offseason spending spree on Friday, giving strong safety Charles Godfrey a five-year, $27.5 million extension that includes $12.4 million in guaranteed money.

That's according to our Panthers Rapid Reporter Steve Reed, who also earlier reported that Godfrey was named one of the team's captains for 2011, along with tackle Jordan Gross, wide receiver Steve Smith, linebacker Jon Beason, punter Jason Baker and linebacker Thomas Davis.

“He’s on top of the world and he’s thrilled because this is what he wanted," Godfrey's agent Doug Hendrickson told Reed. "He really loves the new defense and the staff and everything about the organization. They stepped up big time."

He should be. Godfrey's one of several Panthers -- including Beason, Davis, defensive end Charles Johnson, running back DeAngelo Williams and linebacker James Anderson -- to pick up a big-time financial commitment from Carolina this offseason.

In 43 starts since being drafted in the third round of 2008, Godfrey's racked up 157 tackles, seven interceptions (including five in 2010) and six forced fumbles.

And though some folks might wonder why a 2-14 team would be slinging around so much cash for a group of players that didn't produce all that much in 2010, aside from Williams, the Panthers have made their significant investments into a defense that was much better than the team's record would indicate.

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Posted on: April 24, 2011 10:39 am

Offseason checkup: Carolina Panthers

Posted by Will Brinson

J. Clausen hopes to get Carolina turned around in 2011 (Getty).

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups

Not to try and bring back the Anchorman meme that probably became uncool a few years ago, but, man, things really got out of hand fast in Carolina, didn't they? John Fox is gone, Ron Rivera is in, Jerry Richardson is likely not too popular with the fans because of the labor situation, and the draft-pick situation for the Panthers is a nightmare.

There's also a pile of questions relating to how 2011 will unfold based on the rules once the labor situation is settled. And the whole problem of everyone else in the NFC South being potentially dominant or at least pretty good ... primarily because of quarterback play. And thus, we see the Panthers problem: they need a franchise quarterback. Andrew Luck's decision to return to school put a big crimp in the plans for the No. 1 overall pick, and Cam Newton's been penciled in at this point by basically anyone.  

Even if he is the pick, the Panthers can't negotiate with him, so who knows at this point? There's ample argument for why Carolina should take a cornerback, a defensive tackle, trade the top pick, or just roll the dice with Newton.

Defensive Tackle, Quarterback

The odd things about Carolina's roster is that in 2010, they had the talent to succeed. Injuries (Jeff Otah and Thomas Davis most notably), poor play (Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen most notably) and an awkward coaching situation changed things dramatically and the team unraveled. It became pretty clear, though, that even with a talented offensive line and two superb running backs in Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, you can't run the ball if no one respects your passing game.

Can Newton fix that passing game? Is his upside worth passing on a very-much-needed defensive tackle like Marcell Dareus out of Alabama? Does it even matter if Newton can be Tim Tebow 2.0 and sell a pile of jerseys while making the Panthers nationally relevant, at least for a season?

It seems clear that Newton's going to either be a total home run, though not likely right away, or an absolute, unmitigated disaster. There might be an in-between area, but given the hype surrounding the potential No.1-overall pick, it's hard to imagine Newton settling into something that's just "average."

1. Quarterback
Value Over Replacement Player is typically a statistic that you see in baseball. But the notion remains true when you talk about the MVP race: how would the Patriots fare if you took out Tom Brady and plugged in an "average" quarterback? Well, the Panthers showed that if you plug in the player most below average in the NFL, disaster ensues. Quarterback is absolutely the most important position of need for Carolina -- it's just a matter of whether or not Newton or Blaine Gabbert could end up becoming "the guy" in Carolina as a top pick, just one season after the Panthers apparently wasted a second-rounder on Clausen. No one -- and I mean NO ONE -- can know the answer until we sees how it plays out. That's what makes their top pick so insanely controversial.

2. Defensive Tackle
Making the Panthers' choice at the top of the draft even more difficult is the presence of Dareus, who seems like a pretty good bet to succeed in the NFL. Or, at least, to not flop at defensive tackle. With (maybe) four winnable games on the 2011 schedule, the Panthers could conceivably draft Dareus, hope they perform to 2010-level expectations with a vastly more difficult schedule, and land Andrew Luck in the next season. Playing chicken with a franchise quarterback and gambling on losing a lot isn't really an efficient way to manage in the NFL, but is drafting Cam Newton really a safer option?

3. More Draft Picks
I said this for Denver and they probably have more holes to fill than the Panthers, but Carolina doesn't even have a second-rounder because they traded their pick to the Patriots in order to draft Armanti Edwards out of Appalachian State, which might secretly be the worst draft decision in quite some time, especially because it's the first pick on the second day of the draft and a coveted spot. With a draft that's deep at defensive line, and the Panthers in need of a cornerback, a quarterback and a defensive tackle, having more picks -- as opposed to, say, LESS picks -- would be a pretty big advantage for the franchise.

2011 could be disastrous for the Panthers. I mentioned four winnable games, and that's not a joke: can they beat Detroit in Ford Field? Arizona out west? Tennessee at home in Week 10? Washington at home in Week 7? The Jaguars at home in Week 3? Okay, that's actually five, so we're getting somewhere! Or not -- those games are as far from locks as you get, and they're the easiest ones on the schedule. Maybe an upset or two in the NFC South is doable, but that's a bit optimistic for anyone who watched what happened in 2010.

Hey, but hope springs eternal. Or something. Ron Rivera's got a talented staff in place and the Panthers do still have a roster with some stars; at the very least, they've got studly linebackers and a strong offensive line, should free agency fall they way they want (and when you've got your owner leading the negotiations, well, that's never a bad thing). Drafting Newton could immediately reenergize the fanbase and turn out to be an absolute gamechanger when it comes to the franchise's future. But if there's one team that actually wouldn't mind seeing a lockout last through the entire 2011 season, it's probably Carolina.

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Posted on: April 4, 2011 9:35 pm

The weird case of Thomas Davis

Posted by Andy Benoit
T. Davis (US Presswire)
Because of the lockout, no players are eligible for free agency at this very moment. That will change eventually (the lockout will be lifted or once the court hearings shake out, the league might resume business activity under 2010 rules).

But even if the NFL reopens, linebacker Thomas Davis, who entered 2010 in the final year of his contract, may find himself still stuck in Carolina. Prior to last season, Davis tore his ACL for the second time in seven months. He spent the year on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. There is a little-known rule from the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement that applies to players in this position.

Darin Gantt of the Charlotte Observer writes, “Article XXXII, Section 2 of the previous CBA said any player who was not activated from PUP while in the last year of his contract would have that contract ‘toll’ or carry over into the next season. That means Davis would be under contract for next season at the same $3.268 million salary.” Davis is one of two NFL players potentially at the mercy of this rule in 2011 (the other is Eagles defensive end Victor Abiamiri).

The Panthers put Davis on PUP rather than injured reserve because he blew out his knee relatively early in the offseason and they wanted to give him an opportunity to return to the field in 2010.

The Panthers have long claimed that they’ll take care of Davis. To do that, they could wind up releasing him. In November, Davis said he wanted to be in Carolina long-term. He echoed those sentiments again this week and said he’s not worried about being required to play-out his 2010 contract.

“I will be allowed to test the free agent market,” he told Gantt. “But my desire is to remain a Panther for the rest of my career.”

It may actually be beneficial to Davis to play under his 2010 deal. After all, with two serious and recent knee injuries to his name, it’s doubtful any team will want to sign him long-term in 2011. A $3.268 million salary isn’t bad for a player trying to re-prove himself.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: March 29, 2011 1:57 pm

Hot Routes 3.29.11: Madden cover vote, 2nd round

Posted by Will Brinson

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Posted on: February 3, 2011 12:22 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 2:02 pm

Panthers to franchise RB Williams, extend Beason?

Posted by Will Brinson

The Carolina Panthers have a pile of free agents that they need to take care of going into 2011, and DeAngelo Williams is one of the biggest names on their list to handle.

According to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Steve Reed, the Panthers are planning to franchise Williams beginning in the 14-day window that begins on February 10th.

Reed estimates that Williams will make $9.8 million in 2011, which is pricey, but certainly more palatable for the Panthers than awarding Williams a huge contract just a few months after he was unable to play 16 full games in a time-share backfield.

His injuries are particularly concerning in the long-term because of the relatively low mileage he's accumulated since being drafted in the first round by Carolina.

Williams served as a backup to DeShaun Foster (yes, that seems really weird to type now) in 2006 and 2007 (he started two games and only carried the ball 265 times in those two years) before busting out for 1,515 yards on 5.5 yards per carry in 2008.

In the remaining two years, Williams has only played in 19 games and has seen his yards per carry average dip down to 5.2 in 2009 and 4.1 in 2010.

In other words, Carolina would probably like to see Williams return to full health before considering any sort of bigger contract.

They're reportedly focusing their contract negotiation concerns on star linebacker Jon Beason, DE Charles Johnson, center Ryan Khalil and linebacker Thomas Davis. Inking those four -- although it won't happen until after a new CBA -- would immediately bring some stability back to a defense that was underrated in 2010, particularly if Carolina can add a young playmaker at the top of the draft.

The looming problem at quarterback is just that, but that the Panther are at least indicating what key players they want to re-sign is good news for their fans.

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Posted on: November 8, 2010 1:11 pm

Panthers lose Matt Moore for season

Posted by Andy Benoit

It will be harder for the Panthers to flip flop on quarterbacks during the second half of the season. CBS’s Panthers Rapid Reporter Steve Reed reports that quarterback Matt Moore is out for the season with a torn labrum (shoulder). Moore left Sunday’s debacle against the Saints in the first half.

One would think the Panthers would turn to second-round rookie Jimmy Clausen here, though on Sunday sixth-round rookie Tony Pike saw action late. Clausen was just 8/18 for 47 yards and a touchdown. Pike came in and finished 6/12 for 47 yards. John Fox has not said whether it will be Clausen or Pike starting under center at Tampa Bay in Week 10.

The Panthers also placed starting middle linebacker Dan Connor on IR with a crack in his hip bone. Outside linebacker Thomas Davis, who has not played all season due to an ACL injury, was also placed on IR.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com