Today is an emotional one for the Carolina Panthers. Two of the team’s all-time greats, Greg Olsen and Thomas Davis Sr., are back in Charlotte to retire as Panthers after signing one-day contracts with the franchise.
After four years with the Chicago Bears, Olsen was a Panther from 2011-19, putting in three 1,000 yard seasons, and making the Pro Bowl from 2014-16. He finished his career with the Seattle Seahawks, but is certainly a Panther above all else.
Davis was a Panther from 2005-18, before finishing his career with single seasons as a Los Angeles Chargers and Washington Football Team linebacker. He was a first-team All-Pro in 2015, and a three-time Pro Bowler as a Panther, from 2015-17, and won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2014.
The team gifted its two greats with some really slick-looking Zenith watches during today’s ceremony. Greg Olsen was pretty blown away, humbly saying that the gift was “totally unnecessary.” When someone jokingly asked the players wanted to return them, Davis quickly quipped that Olsen could return his if he wanted
You’re gonna love their reactions 😂 pic.twitter.com/zqhIR2rImF
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) March 11, 2021
That’s a pretty touching moment for some of the franchise’s all-time greats. Two other former Carolina Panthers were mentioned as deserving the same honor during the ceremony as well: quarterback Cam Newton and linebacker Luke Kuechly.
Greg Olsen says Cam Newton, along with Luke Kuechly, have earned the right to a retirement ceremony like they had today, whenever that time comes.
— Alaina Getzenberg (@agetzenberg) March 11, 2021
Greg Olsen said when Cam Newton's days are done, "if anybody deserves to have a day like today, recognizing all he did for the [Panthers] organization and putting it on the map nationally, it's him.''
— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) March 11, 2021
Those four were certainly franchise cornerstones for an extremely long time. Now, with players like Christian McCaffrey becoming the faces of the franchise, we’ve definitely entered a new era of Carolina Panthers football.