Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis will open the 2018 season with a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, but he says his character should've factored into the decision on his looming punishment.
"The NFL has a tough job on their hands when you think about assessing fines, assessing punishment for certain things," Davis said on Monday, according to ESPN's David Newton. "I mean, you would like to think they would take into consideration the player and what the guy has done over his career, but that's not a part of what goes into it."
Davis was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2014 for his community work with kids. His failed test at the end of the season - which he was informed of in April - was for an estrogen blocker he'd taken for the past seven to eight years without any failed tests.
He still accepts responsibility for his actions.
"Ultimately, the rules say we're responsible for what we put in our bodies," he said. "I've just got to do a better job of understanding what's in the things I'm taking."
Davis said he now has the Panthers test every substance he considers taking beforehand.