Thomas Davis 'Irked' GM Dave Gettleman's Firing Linked to LB's Contract Talks

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2017

Carolina Panthers' Thomas Davis (58) takes the field during defensive introductions before an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016. The Falcons won 33-16. (AP photo/Bob Leverone)
Bob Leverone/Associated Press

On Wednesday, Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis took issue with reports that his contract negotiations played a role in the firing of general manager Dave Gettleman. 

According to ESPN.com's David Newton, Davis said he was "extremely irked" by the link and that things never got heated between them during negotiations: 

"To his credit, he told me to my face that he didn't see a decline in my play. He [said] he had never seen anything like it before for a guy my age. I guess it sort of put him in a tough position making a decision moving forward, but there was never a time where he said something negative to me about me as a player or me as a person.''

Newton added that sources previously told ESPN that Gettleman's handling of contracts, particularly those of Davis and tight end Greg Olsen, led to his firing.

The 34-year-old veteran was shocked that some of the blame for Gettleman's ouster is being placed on two of the team's most highly respected players:

"Some of the stuff being said, it's unbelievable to think of two guys that was being talked about. You think about myself and you think about Greg Olsen and what we try to represent and stand for, not only as players but as pillars of the community as leaders of this football team, it was totally unfair and uncalled for some of the stuff that was being said."

Davis is set to enter the final year of his contract, and he is coming off two of his best NFL seasons.

The 2005 first-round pick out of Georgia was named to the Pro Bowl in 2015 and 2016, and he is looking to build on a 2016 campaign that saw him register 106 tackles, three interceptions and 2.5 sacks.

Since playing in just nine games from 2009 through 2011 due to injury, Davis has missed just two contests over the past five seasons.

Gettleman was fired earlier this month and replaced by Marty Hurney on an interim basis.

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