Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis is not real happy with the New Orleans Saints – and it has nothing to do with the bounty system that has the Saints’ in the crosshairs of the league office.
While an NFL investigation found Saints players were paid for knocking opponents out of games, Davis is upset the Saints didn’t take their own players out of a Week 17 game against the Panthers last season.
With the Saints hoping to secure the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs and Drew Brees trying to hold off Tom Brady for the single-season passing record, Sean Payton left Brees in until 9:29 remained in the Saints’ 45-17 victory at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The Saints did not score again after Brees’ 9-yard touchdown pass to Darren Sproles with 12:15 left in the fourth quarter. Backup quarterback Chase Daniel attempted three passes, but none were long throws.
Still, Davis said during a podcast on the Panthers’ Web site this week the Saints showed Carolina no respect. (Davis’ comments on the Saints’ game are near the 14-minute mark on Panthers Pulse.)
“That’s a game that I definitely have marked on my calendar for this year,” Davis said. “With the Saints going in and playing the way that they did and having guys in with a big lead that late in the game. You can say they were shooting for records or whatever. I don’t care. That’s disrespectful to me. I’m definitely looking forward to playing the New Orleans Saints this year.”
Davis was not asked about his contract situation on the podcast. But the fact that he was featured on the team’s Web site makes it seem pretty clear he’ll be with the Panthers again.
With Davis recovering from his third ACL surgery on his right knee, the Panthers are not going to give Davis his $8 million bonus next week. But they are expected to restructure the deal Davis received last summer following the lockout.
In an interview with the Observer last month, Davis said he was confident he and the Panthers would work something out.
During the podcast, Davis said he thinks the Panthers’ first draft priority should be defense. Davis said he hopes the Panthers will consider drafting Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe after the 346-pound Poe’s impressive showing at the combine.