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Time is Really Running Out for the Panthers Veteran Leaders to Get a Ring

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Hardworking Panthers veterans such as Thomas Davis, Derek Anderson, Ryan Kahlil, Charles Johnson and Greg Olsen are getting closer to retirement from the NFL as each season passes by. Thomas Davis has been a great linebacker and even better person throughout his long career in the NFL. He is the only player to come back from three major ACL surgeries and still perform the way he is in 2016 and beyond. Davis is a natural leader in the locker room motivating teammates regardless of the teams record. Outside of football he is very involved in charities and won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2014.

Davis, 33, was a first round pick in the 2005 draft. Nearly 12 years later he is still out here schooling rookies. Superbowl 50 was a special moment for Thomas Davis. He damaged his arm making a tackle few weeks prior to Superbowl 50 and did everything in his power to get a quick surgery so he could play. He brought a GoPro on the trip to record and cherish all the special moments from practice to gameday.

"You definitely never know when that opportunity’s going to come again, if it’s going to come again,"Davis said Thursday. “As a group, we know we’re going to work as hard as we can to make sure we’re back at that point we were as a football team.”

He just got an extension last season keeping him through 2017, but theoretically how much more can his body take? I would say maybe two or three more years. It is hard to rally a 4-8 team to come back and make it all the way to the Superbowl again. Would the Panthers take a risk on keeping Davis any longer? Dave Gettleman does not like to keep old veterans around for too long. Especially when their contracts get too expensive to manage.

Derek Anderson is 33 as well. It took him 11 years to see the Superbowl.

“You’re 33 and you’re on a team that’s just been to the Super Bowl, obviously you don’t know when that is ever going to happen again,” Anderson said. “It took 11 years to get there. It took me seven to get to the playoffs. You get there and it’s like, now let’s do it again.”

Charles Johnson took a huge pay cut just because he wanted to come back and get a Superbowl win. The Panthers cut him last off-season because of his contract so Johnson decided to work with the team to keep working with the team.

These veterans have done so much for the team and it would be sad to see them walk without a ring.