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Chargers 90-in-90: LB Thomas Davis

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The 15-year veteran looks to share some of that longevity with the rest of the LBs on the team

Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

At a position that has failed to find a steady presence over the last few years, the Chargers finally went out and signed a player who spews consistency and longevity out of every orifice. (Great mental picture, right?)

The first big free agent signing by the Chargers this year was former Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, the lone defender left from the entire 2005 NFL Draft.

While in Carolina, Davis posted 100+ tackles in a season six times, starting in 2008 and then having five-straight from 2012-2016. He was also named to three-straight pro bowls from 2015-2017.

With current incumbents Denzel Perryman, Jatavis Brown, and Kyzir White having all missed significant time at some point in 2018, the presence of Davis will be a welcomed sight should he continue to stay on the field from Week 1 through (hopefully) the playoffs.

Basic Info

Height: 6-1
Weight: 235
College: University of Georgia
Experience: 14
Years with Chargers: 0

Contract Status

Davis signed a two-year deal worth up to $10.5 million, with half of that being guaranteed. In 2019, Davis will earn a base salary of $1,250,000 and a signing bonus of $4,000,000, while carrying a cap hit of $3,250,000 and a dead cap value of $5,250,000.

In 2021, he will be an unrestricted free agent.

The Good

Davis lands in a favorable situation where he will instantly be locked-in at the weakside linebacker spot in the Chargers’ 4-3 defense. He will take over starting duties from last year’s fourth-round pick, Kyzir White, who was lost for the season following a knee-injury in the third game of the year.

Even at 36-years old, Davis still has a motor that moat linebackers dream about. It doesn’t matter if the play is five for 55 yards away from him, he will always strive to be in on the tackle. He played just 12 games in 2018 due to a suspension from PEDs but was well on his way to hitting that 100-tackle threshold. He finished the year with 79 total stops, five pass breakups, three tackles-for-loss, and a pair of fumble recoveries.

The Bad

Ar 36-years old, there is a real chance that Davis isn’t a three-down player for the Chargers in 2019. Knowing how often this team puts five or six defensive backs on the field in nickel and dime looks, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Davis get replaced with Kyzir White or Adrian Phillips on obvious passing downs in order to maximize their athleticism in those situations.

He honestly hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down over the last couple seasons so it’s an unlikely case, but the team needs to be prepared for it, nonetheless.

Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2019

Davis will 100% be on the roster as he is already penciled-in as the team’s starting weakside linebacker over incumbent Kyzir White. Barring an injury or off-field scandal, Davis is likely going to be the most consistent player at the second level of the Chargers’ defense.

Fun Fact: He has a brother named Robert Davis who is currently a wide receiver for the Washington Redskins.