Davis cited the desire to spend more time with his kids after fulfilling his contract with the Panthers, which runs through 2018 after an extra year was tacked on to the deal in August.
Davis told Brooke Cersosimo of NFL Media he will step away from the game after the 2018 season.
"I'm pretty sure coming back next year it'll be in a reduced role", Davis said.
But he also admitted this week to playing with a rib injury for much of the season.
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Government's decision of allowing 100 % FDI for single brand retail has received criticism from the BJP's ideological mentor RSS. This is the second major liberalisation in FDI policy by the NDA government in one go after major changes effected in June 2016.
"For me, it was a no-brainer", Davis said.
Davis joined the Panthers as a first-round pick in 2005 and made one start as a rookie before moving up the depth chart in his second year.
Davis was suspended for one game late in the season for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams. During the last six seasons, Davis has missed just three games despite the last of three ACL repairs.
He was selected to Pro Bowls in 2015 and 2016, and named 1st-team All-Pro in 2015, and famously played Super Bowl 50 with a broken arm. Over the course of his career Thomas has 1,019 tackles to his credit, along with 28 sacks and 13 interceptions.
A two-time Pro Bowler and Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2014, Davis will leave a lasting legacy on the Panthers organization.