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Panthers sign Mike Tolbert

Miami Dolphins v San Diego Chargers Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers have added another running back.

Mike Tolbert, a free agent who has played his entire four-year career with the Chargers, signed with the Panthers today, his agent told the Associated Press. Multiple reports say it’s a four-year contract.

Running back was hardly a position of need for the Panthers. They already had a good 1-2 punch at the position with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, and although Tolbert is a strong goal-line back, the Panthers also already have Cam Newton, who’s a quarterback but also happens to be one of the best goal-line runners in the league.

Because of the depth the team already has at the position, there was immediate speculation after the signing was reported that Stewart could be traded. But the Charlotte Observer reports that trading Stewart is not likely, and Carolina will likely keep all three running backs.

So few teams will be as deep at running back as the Panthers this year.

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58 Responses to “Panthers sign Mike Tolbert”
  1. joetoronto says: Mar 19, 2012 12:55 PM

    Keep doing your thing, AJ. :)

  2. mwcarolina says: Mar 19, 2012 12:55 PM

    This move is a head scratcher in the sense that they have two RBs already, maybe they trade Stewart, maybe Tolbert’s insurance, who knows, but it’s strange, but it’s a good fit if he gets his carries.

  3. gonzagylot00 says: Mar 19, 2012 12:58 PM

    Well, it seemed like Stewart and Williams were pretty much always injured the last couple of years, so this deal makes good sense to me.

  4. rdawg911 says: Mar 19, 2012 12:58 PM

    Panthers fan here, and this makes little to no sense unless Stewart is on his way out.

  5. vexey says: Mar 19, 2012 12:59 PM

    I like this even though we already have Williams/Stewart; Tolbert is a beast on special teams and ours was really bad last year, he’s a good receiver out of the backfield, and he’s better than both of them at protection.

    I’d rather they spend some on defense but it’s not a bad signing.. also protects us if we can’t get a deal done with Stewart.

  6. gonzo29 says: Mar 19, 2012 12:59 PM

    They ca say what they want. It seems obvious one of their RB are going to Denver

  7. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says: Mar 19, 2012 1:00 PM

    stewart trade? i seriously doubt that. trading or cutting tolbert’s new backup mike goodson is probably likely though

  8. dc33sd says: Mar 19, 2012 1:00 PM

    Coastal Carolina guy going back home, good luck Mike!

  9. nyjad says: Mar 19, 2012 1:01 PM

    Another RB for the panthers is like bringing sand to the beach, doesn’t make sense to me.

  10. mrbigass says: Mar 19, 2012 1:01 PM

    Texans are as deep with Foster, Tate and what’s his name…….

  11. boltdaddy says: Mar 19, 2012 1:02 PM

    Tolbert’s really a FB who was pressed into service as a RB. He is best used as a run option in a two back set from the FB position. I am happy for him to be playing in front of the home crowd and family, a cool story for a UFA from Coastal Carolina. I will miss him on ST most. Oh well time to move…again.

  12. schmitty2 says: Mar 19, 2012 1:02 PM

    Not really understanding the move. They are more then set with the running game. Shouldnt they be looking to improve the defense?

  13. geo91 says: Mar 19, 2012 1:02 PM

    So dumb! Let Stewart blossom into a premier back, he’s got the talent and skill to be an every down runner. This is so foolish

  14. jbpanthers says: Mar 19, 2012 1:03 PM

    I’m thinking we’re gonna use him in goal-line situations, I remember Rivera saying he would like to take the qb dives away from Cam to avoid injury.

  15. handsofglue says: Mar 19, 2012 1:03 PM

    I like Tolbert but the Panthers?? If the Panthers are getting anything in F/A it should be a WR!

  16. hus10188 says: Mar 19, 2012 1:03 PM

    J Stewart to the Giants! Come on, make the trade happen Jerry!

    As much as I love him, we all know Bradshaw’s going to miss his obligatory 3 or 4 games this year, with his mashed up feet.

    With Elite, Nicks and Cruz and that one-two punch in the backfield, LOOK OUT!

  17. kingbeason52 says: Mar 19, 2012 1:03 PM

    This move makes no sense..we already have a “Tolbert”..his name his Jonathan Stewart..of all the holes we have on this team why in the hell are we signing running backs? Why mess up williams and stewarts chemistry? Freakin amazing.

  18. aces79 says: Mar 19, 2012 1:03 PM

    why get rid of stewart and williams are awsome its defense that carolina needs not offense BAD MOVE i think

  19. bmceh says: Mar 19, 2012 1:03 PM

    Crumb!
    Seahawks better turn up the heat and snag Michael Bush.

  20. bucrightoff says: Mar 19, 2012 1:04 PM

    I think this is wise, teams will be less willing to let Cam beat them like last year, so you’d think that means they’ll run it more.

  21. rippedoffhead says: Mar 19, 2012 1:04 PM

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume he is going to assume almost a fullback’s roll and goal line back. Not necessarily a run blocking FB but a Larry Centers type. The only “fullback” we have on the roster is Brockel, and he is technically a TE. And Newton as our goal line back is awesome… but I’d hate to see him suffer some bad injury doing it. The amount of talent on the offensive side of the ball is becoming freakish.

    …or Goodson gets cut. (which I’m kind of thinking needs to happen). He seems to be almost regressing instead of getting better. STEWART BETTER NOT GO ANYWHERE.

  22. youcantquitmebaby says: Mar 19, 2012 1:05 PM

    Great pick-up for my boys. Now we have a quadruple threat rushing attack.

    Panthers in 2012!

  23. pitt4059 says: Mar 19, 2012 1:06 PM

    Makes no sense at all. This is not what Carolina needs. Look for somebody to be dealt.

  24. dionoil says: Mar 19, 2012 1:09 PM

    Its a guy they wanted who is more dynamic than Williams, or at least they seem to think so. Not sure how this is going to shake out.

  25. tatatoothy says: Mar 19, 2012 1:10 PM

    Your starting fullback for the Carolina Panthers – Mike Tolbert.

    I actually like the move a lot. Another receiving weapon for Newton to throw to and a good blocker, as well.

  26. dacapt704 says: Mar 19, 2012 1:11 PM

    geo91 says:
    Mar 19, 2012 1:02 PM
    So dumb! Let Stewart blossom into a premier back, he’s got the talent and skill to be an every down runner.
    ———————————————-

    He just doesnt have the durability…I too am puzzled by this seeing as how we are paper thin at CB and DT..not to mention both safety spots can use an upgrade. I know Nakamura was just signed last week but he’s more of a special teams guy….why wasnt Nelson, or Otogwe brought in for a look-see?

  27. rammerray says: Mar 19, 2012 1:11 PM

    Norv Turner, u are sooooooooo gone after this season!

  28. ibottpsgoldpants says: Mar 19, 2012 1:12 PM

    Go get’em Mike Brown. We’ve got picks to trade for Stewart and cap space to sign him to a long term deal. Plus in Cincy he’d be the unquestioned starter. Perfect fit for our offense.

  29. Stiller43 says: Mar 19, 2012 1:15 PM

    3 big contracts for a dime-a-dozen position?

    I really like a lot of the moves the panthers have made cleaning up the mess of the last few years, but this is a definite head scratcher unless they trade stewart or williams.

  30. dannymac17 says: Mar 19, 2012 1:15 PM

    JoeToronto showing his face in Charger related posts yet again but was absent for 4 weeks after the Bolts booted the Raiders out of the playoff race.

    Doesnt it get tiring of being wrong just about 99% of the time?

    You have no backfield at all.

    Womp Womp.

    Go away

  31. steelernationsparksjealousy says: Mar 19, 2012 1:16 PM

    That is a crowded backfield

  32. conseannery says: Mar 19, 2012 1:17 PM

    That’s the second consecutive post with a picture of my beloved Dolphins getting victimized.

    It’s going to be a long season.

  33. doncherry81 says: Mar 19, 2012 1:18 PM

    Would love to see Jonathan Stewart traded to the Lions or Patriots.

  34. mobuccsfan says: Mar 19, 2012 1:20 PM

    Yeah, I think there is a good chance Stewart or even Williams, though doubtful after his large contract just last year–get dealt still. Or Goodson very well could be cut. I wouldn’t expect any news on a trade though until Draft Weekend.

  35. homelanddefense says: Mar 19, 2012 1:22 PM

    Patriots have two second round picks (the firsts too) maybe a trade can be worked out.

  36. gothwolf says: Mar 19, 2012 1:23 PM

    “Great pick-up for my boys. Now we have a quadruple threat rushing attack.”

    Um…maybe if the game was played with four footballs, but, last I checked, there was only one allowed in play at a time.

  37. pilot2011 says: Mar 19, 2012 1:23 PM

    Stewart would start on 75% of the teams in the league… If I was Carolina, I wouldn’t trade him unless it’s a 1st round pick.

    New England could use Stewart and I’m sure they have 3 or 4 first round picks like usual, so they should probably trade for him. (If BJGE doesn’t resign).

    A late first rounder should do it. So Detroit, Green Bay, New England, or the New York football Giants, where Jonathan Stewart rushed for over 200 yards in their very last game at the old stadium, should all offer trades to Carolina.

  38. lovetron says: Mar 19, 2012 1:26 PM

    Cam handles the short-yardage game on his own. Stewart was criminally under-utilized last year, and is worth more in trade than he is sitting on the bench. Better to get something for him now than to let him escape via free agency next year. Tolbert makes a good insurance policy and could complement D-Will nicely if Williams stays healthy and still has some tread on those tires.

  39. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Mar 19, 2012 1:30 PM

    Texans are deeper (Thats what she said). Obviously this is to stop that retarded idea that is Cam Newton being a goal line back. Rolling the dice on such a bright future for a measily td is retarded.. Unless were talking SB *shout out to John Elway*

  40. mullman7675 says: Mar 19, 2012 1:34 PM

    Very nice. The demise of the chargers continues…

  41. ak18346 says: Mar 19, 2012 1:43 PM

    GREAT MOVE I feel he will bring a lot to S/T and maybe help out like Hoover did for so many years. Keep the solid moves coming to the Panthers I see the playoffs for syre this year.

  42. birdmantd says: Mar 19, 2012 1:46 PM

    Tolbert even if he gets very few carries can be still valuable in other areas like special teams. With that said it looks like Carolina doesn’t spend it’s money wisely in FA. Tolbert is more of a luxury than a necessity.

  43. pilot2011 says: Mar 19, 2012 1:53 PM

    Broncos send their 2012 1st round pick for Stewart and Goodson to reunite with John Fox, whom both backs did very well under.

  44. infectorman says: Mar 19, 2012 1:58 PM

    NE should make a run at Stewart if Law Firm flees for more $ anfd the $ works
    Guy could be a stud if he were on his own in a normal 2-back rotation and could stay healthy. 3 capable backs in Carolina?
    I’ve heard of 2 back systems, but this is kinda over the top, excepting for injury insurance
    Tolbert offers much more than Special Teams, IMO. He can catch the ball well above average out of the backfield, blocks well in pass-protection and can cream defenders at the goal-line.
    Not sure why this makes sense….yet

  45. quizguy66 says: Mar 19, 2012 2:00 PM

    They can run a Super Wishbone now with all 4 of ‘em (DeAngelo, Stewart, Tolbert and Cam) out there!!!

    Seriously, though, another RB that could’ve been an option in TD-only leagues gets buried as Cam is definitely the only startable one of the 4 in fantasy in that format.

    -QG

  46. redrew says: Mar 19, 2012 2:04 PM

    Worst secret in NFL…Stewart is headed to the Patriots

  47. steelcityrapist says: Mar 19, 2012 2:27 PM

    SMASH, DASH AND BASH????

  48. truthassassin says: Mar 19, 2012 2:31 PM

    Damn, this Panthers team just keeps looking better… really like Tolbert, on any team…

  49. mobuccsfan says: Mar 19, 2012 2:55 PM

    Yeah I could see either the Broncos or Patriots (seems like a Patriots move and they have tons of picks, as always) trading for Stewart.

  50. scottdragosnai says: Mar 19, 2012 2:56 PM

    Trade one of those horses will they??
    Scott Dragos NAI

  51. ilovefoolsball says: Mar 19, 2012 2:57 PM

    The Panthers aren’t acting like their defense is a priority. You can have all of the great RB’s in the world but if your defense can’t stop anyone in that division you’re as good as a dead kitty cat.

  52. scottdragosnai says: Mar 19, 2012 3:00 PM

    Imagine DeAngelo with the Pats, Jets, Giants or Steelers??
    Scott Dragos NAI

  53. chargersallday17 says: Mar 19, 2012 3:22 PM

    Charger fan here sucks to lose the big beast !! I forgive aj cuz we sighed another beast fb leron MCclain !!

  54. loyalpanthersfan says: Mar 19, 2012 3:38 PM

    We dont have to trade Williams or Stewart, who says we can’t run a 3 back system? Did anyone ever imagine running the two TE system being fun by the Pats?! Or how bout a 2 back system nobody envisioned it back then either, the NFL is forever changing, do we need more pressing needs…yes but is this a horrible signing, heck no especially considering our limited cap space. We can’t sign any of these top defensive players with our cap space.

  55. lance19 says: Mar 19, 2012 4:01 PM

    Though Mike wasn’t CRUCIAL to the
    Chargers’ offense, he’s a good guy,
    great receiver, powerful runner and
    excellent special teams contributer.

    He was also
    –like Antonio Gates, and quite a few other Chargers–undrafted…

    and I always dig when some kid works his ass off and shows everyone who didn’t draft him, that he can outplay lots of guys who WERE drafted.

  56. Ronald says: Mar 19, 2012 4:17 PM

    Good riddance. All he did was fumble and do a stupid TD dance when he scored.

  57. pantherd says: Mar 19, 2012 9:22 PM

    I like the move. Great on special teams. Perfect for the goal line plays. And anything that can keep Cam safe on those goal line plays, I’m all for!!!

  58. chazatlas says: Mar 28, 2012 10:19 PM

    When Tolbert immediately goes beast in Carolina, all you scratching your head why they chose him will understand why.

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