Thomas Davis
Thomas Davis' 14-year stay with the Carolina Panthers has come to an end. In this picture, Davis #58 of the Carolina Panthers walks off the field after being defeated by the Atlanta Falcons 24-10 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, Dec. 23, 2018. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

UPDATE: 11 p.m. EST- Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, a Carolina native, was quick to praise Thomas Davis' contribution to the Panthers franchise. He also urged the outside linebacker to continue playing and not hang up his helmet yet.

Original story:

Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis has confirmed that he will not be returning to the team for the 2019-20 season after they decided to release him and go in a different direction.

The 35-year-old is the Panthers’ longest tenured player having spent his entire career with the Carolina franchise after being signed by them in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft.

Davis confirmed the team’s decision Wednesday night but admitted that he was not expecting it as he was keen to continue playing for the Panthers next season. Apart from confirming his departure from the franchise, he also recorded a heartfelt message for the Panthers fans, who have been part of his life for the last 14 years.

The veteran linebacker also made it clear that he has no plans to hang up his helmet and will be seeking employment elsewhere. It remains unclear at the moment if any team will be interested in signing the three-time Pro Bowl player in the latter stages of his career.

Davis played 12 games for the Panthers this season as they finished third in the National Football Conference (NFC) South standings. He recorded 79 tackles of which 46 were solo and two fumble recoveries, and it also included 12 tackles in one game against the New Orleans Saints, which was a season high.

The veteran admitted that the decision by the Panthers has been extremely tough to deal with as he was desperate to come back with the team next season and try to improve on their performances and right the wrongs they did this campaign.

“I would like to thank the Panthers organization, my teammates. You guys have been amazing for 14 very special years. The Panther nation, I can’t thank you enough for the love and support you have shown me and my family,” Davis said via a video on his official Twitter account.

"As you can see it is extremely difficult for me. I have loved and cherished every moment we have had in Carolina and it will always be home for me and my family. But I am not retiring, I feel like I have way too much football left in me to walk away from the game right now. I want to keep playing; hopefully there is someone that can give me that opportunity," he added.

But he made it clear to the Panthers faithful that it was not a decision he wanted, as he never envisioned pulling on a jersey of another team at any point in his career. But the franchise’s decision to part way has forced him to now look for pastures new for the 2019-20 season.