Panthers LB Davis says he will return in 2019

Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis (58) is suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season.Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (file photo)

Davis said in June he might return in 2019, and confirmed Monday he would be back if the team will have him.

Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis said in June that he might return for the 2019 season, and on Monday he made it clear he would be back if the team will have him.

Davis will start this season by sitting out the first four games as a result of an NFL suspension for violating the league's policy on the use performance-enhancing substances.

He said that suspension played a role in his decision to return.

"If the team is willing to have me back, I'll be back," Davis said, according to the team's website. "I look at the way things transpired this offseason and think back to, really, my legacy and the things that I've been able to do as a football player. I don't want to leave on a sour note. You never want to walk away from the game knowing that you served a four-game suspension. That's my mindset right now.

"When you factor in that (suspension), and the fact that I may not ever get another training camp -- I embrace it every day. Talk trash to Cam (Newton) at a high level daily. Just competing and having fun with my teammates -- that's what training camp is all about."

Davis is not under contract for the 2019 season, but he has played 12 seasons for Carolina and was a Pro Bowl selection each of the past three seasons.