The San Diego Chargers wanted to keep running back Mike Tolbert. The Panthers got him.
But it’s not because the Panthers offered more than the only team with which Tolbert had ever played. According to Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego, the Panthers actually offered less.
Acee writes via Twitter than Tolbert will make $8.4 million on a four-year deal, which could max out at $10 million. Per Acee, the Chargers averaged $1 million more.
Acee says Tolbert wanted to get back to the South; he’s from Douglasville, Georgia, and he played college football at Coastal Carolina.
His role with the Panthers currently isn’t clear. The official release from the Panthers lists Tolbert as a fullback, which tends to bolster the notion that DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart will remain the top running backs, and that Stewart won’t be traded.
“Mike is a very versatile player who can do a lot of different things for us,” G.M. Marty Hurney said in a team-issued release. “He plays fullback, catches the ball well out of the backfield, plays running back, and is an outstanding special teams player. It was a good fit and gives us a chance to add another weapon on offense. We are excited about bringing him back to the Carolinas.”
Tolbert must be excited, too. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have given up $4 million over four years to play there.