Every offseason, Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco identifies a potential target at a position of need to pursue at the start of free agency.
This year, that player was linebacker Thomas Davis.
Looking for an edge in the push for a potential Super Bowl run, the Chargers added an experienced, grizzled veteran in Davis.
The 36-year-old outside linebacker had spent his entire career with the Carolina Panthers, but he stepped out of his comfort zone in moving to the West Coast for an opportunity to return to the Super Bowl.
Davis also had some ties with the Chargers to help guide him out West. He played with assistant defensive backs coach Chris Harris when he was a safety with the Panthers. Chargers linebackers coach Richard Smith and defensive backs coach Ron Milus also were on the coaching staff in Carolina when he was a player.
Mostly, Davis said he was drawn to the Chargers because he believes the team is close to winning a championship, and he wants to be a part of it.cheap nike nfl jersey
“I feel like I still have a lot left in the tank,” Davis said. “I am one of the more athletic linebackers in this league. I feel like [with] the wisdom and knowledge of the game that I have been able to learn from a bunch of veteran guys over the years, I can really help some of the younger guys on this defense. Just whatever I can add and whatever I can bring, I am willing to do and just come in and be the ultimate teammate.”
The Chargers finished the 2018 campaign with three of the team’s starting linebackers on injured reserve in Denzel Perryman, Jatavis Brown and Kyzir White.
Perryman re-signed with the Chargers on a two-year deal at the start of free agency. The Chargers believe the University of Miami product can be a Pro Bowl-caliber player when healthy.
Part of Davis’ task will be to serve as mentor for a young but talented linebacker group.
“He’s going to be the Philip Rivers of the defense,” Perryman told the team’s website. “I’m excited for him to get in here so I can pick his brain, see what he sees and just get his take on football in general.”cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping
However, the Chargers also believe that Davis still can play, and the stats show that.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Davis, who was suspended for the first four games of 2018 for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, finished with 79 tackles and six pass breakups in 12 games for the Panthers last season. He’s penciled in to start at weakside linebacker outside and was brought in to help improve a Chargers defense that at times struggled to defend the run.