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December 02, 2005

Davis' days likely numbered

The Carolina Panthers won’t say it, and you wouldn’t expect them to, so let’s be real honest.

Stephen Davis’ days with the team almost certainly are numbered. While the jury that is the team’s brain-trust uses the final five games to determine if DeShaun Foster can be next year’s feature back, Davis’ future with the team clearly isn’t very bright. He’s 31 and, despite getting every chance possible to show he still can be the feature back, he hasn’t shown it behind an offensive line that’s not that bad. Davis is a great guy, a locker room leader respected by all his teammates, and it’s nice that the Spartanburg native is a local guy.

But football is a business and that’s why there’s a good chance Davis will go the route of Wesley Walls and Muhsin Muhammad. Davis is set to count $3.85 million against next year’s salary cap. You don’t pay that kind of money to a short-yardage specialist. Besides, the Panthers will need to free up cap space to sign Foster to a new contract or bring in someone else. Unless Davis is content to restructure his contract to a very friendly number, it’s likely he’ll be released after the season. The Panthers can create $3.3 million in cap space if they release Davis.

He’s scheduled to receive a roster bonus of slightly more than $1 million in March, and the Panthers will have to make a decision before then.

As for Foster, last week was a decent start in showing he can be a feature back. He carried 22 times, didn’t fumble and didn’t have any injuries. Those have been Foster’s problems in the past. If he can keep those things in the past and continue to carry about 20 times a game with some success, the Panthers likely will make a push to sign him to a big contract. But they want to see a few more games as good or better than last week’s before they firmly make that decision.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 2, 2005 at 10:59 AM | Permalink


Stephen Davis couldn't make a quick cut razor factory.

Posted by: Bob | Dec 2, 2005 8:41:44 PM

Let them both go and pick up Dayne. He'd be perfect for Fox's style.

Posted by: Nate | Dec 3, 2005 10:50:15 PM

I love Foster, but he did fumble on Sunday. It was a toss to him in the backfield and Delhomme ended up falling on the ball. I think the Panthers need to be careful about how they spend the money they save from Davis' release. Personally, I would make resigning Witherspoon a higher priority. Worst case scenario both Foster and Davis are gone. Nick Goings has proven he can fill in, heck, he has more 100 yard games than Foster!

Posted by: Bruce | Dec 6, 2005 8:17:53 AM

This isn't a blog if Pat never interacts with the people commenting on the site. It's just another forum.

Posted by: Jonathan in MA | Dec 6, 2005 10:28:11 AM

Steven Davis is saving it for the BIG games. He will go on a rampage in the playoffs and he will restructure his contract next year to stay with Carolina. Foster and Davis on a rampage equals Super Bowl victory.

Posted by: Matt Frazier | Dec 6, 2005 12:42:49 PM


You are a dreamer. Why would anyone save anything in that league. By saving he could lose his job.


Posted by: Fred Fish | Dec 6, 2005 7:10:00 PM

Ok, maybe I was kidding a little about Davis saving it but I do believe he is going to make major contributions down the stretch.

Posted by: Matt Frazier | Dec 9, 2005 6:57:49 AM

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