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Mike Tolbert took less money so he could be in the South

Mike Tolbert AP

When running back Mike Tolbert signed with the Panthers, it was reported that he took less money than the Chargers were offering.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Tolbert confirmed he left $1 million on the table and explained why he left money on the table as a free agent. It certainly wasn’t an increase in opportunity, not with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart already in Carolina. Tolbert, who played at Coastal Carolina and grew up in Georgia, says that he wanted to get back to his roots.

“I just wanted to raise my daughter in the South,” Tolbert said. “I just think this is a better place to raise a family. It was time for a change, and I just think first of all the South is a better place to raise a family.”

Tolbert also said that his familiarity with the Panthers offense helped make it easier to make the move. Head coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski both worked for the Chargers and Tolbert refers to Chudzinski as an “innovator” offensively.

The Panthers have talked a lot about using Tolbert in a variety of roles, including split out as a receiver. Reports from OTAs have him working almost exclusively as a fullback, however, which likely means a reduction in touches from his San Diego days. It would seem coming home doesn’t come without its sacrifices.

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50 Responses to “Mike Tolbert took less money so he could be in the South”
  1. kane337 says: Jun 2, 2012 7:04 PM

    Tolbert is right. The South is the better place to raise a family. No doubt.

  2. asw1028 says: Jun 2, 2012 7:12 PM

    I think that’s pretty cool. He gets to play in a place where he’s comfortable and he won’t be used as much so maybe he’ll have enough left physically after this contract to sign another one. Also, I would never want to have to work for AJ Smith, he is a spawn of satan.

  3. qdog112 says: Jun 2, 2012 7:13 PM

    Yep, the backfield is loaded and touches will be reduced, but don’t be too surprised if Stewart is moved. He is in a contract year and next year will be unrestricted. The last time that happened, the Panthers lost $20 million and an unrestricted Julius Peppers. They’ve already tried to sign Stewart, unsuccessfully, so I’m just sayin’ it could happen.

  4. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 2, 2012 7:15 PM

    Panthers offered him the same money, but in Confederate dollars.

  5. tfbuckfutter says: Jun 2, 2012 7:23 PM

    “I just think first of all the South is a better place to raise a family.”

    LOL.

    Yeah, it’s an awesome place to raise a family if you don’t want your kids to have an education or be exposed to diversity.

    I can’t even fathom how a black person would ever come BACK to the south. That makes as much sense as a gay person moving to….well, the south. Or a woman moving to…..well, the south. Or a latino moving to….well, the south….

  6. mullman7675 says: Jun 2, 2012 7:29 PM

    It makes sense. He gets to go home and take care of his family as he sees fit. More importantly, he gets off the sinking ship that is the charger franchise.

    Well played Tolbert.

  7. tfbuckfutter says: Jun 2, 2012 7:33 PM

    If you look at it, he didn’t really leave $1,000,000 on the table when you adjust for the cost of living difference between California and North Carolina (assuming he plans to settle in and live there year round).

  8. pantherpro says: Jun 2, 2012 7:34 PM

    If raising a family in an area where the yahoos support Newt Gingrich over a great area like San Diego, Tolbert must be suffering from post concussion syndrome. That being said he will make the Panthers very dangerous!!

  9. joeytorontosucks says: Jun 2, 2012 7:38 PM

    Because San Diego’s not in the South…

  10. dominix10 says: Jun 2, 2012 7:56 PM

    As a Native San Diegan, I’m somewhat offended, but I respect him as a man and player. I just wonder what it is he thinks makes the south a better place to raise a family?

  11. butlers91 says: Jun 2, 2012 8:03 PM

    I love that northern town of san diego, but it’s so cold there.

  12. randallflagg52 says: Jun 2, 2012 8:21 PM

    He’s right. Who would want to raise a family in California? I wouldn’t, that’s for sure. Land of fruits and nuts as my grandmother used to always say.

  13. kingcarlbanks says: Jun 2, 2012 8:24 PM

    The south is a cool place…to visit. I cant see wanting to move from San Diego to Carolina, but that’s the guy’s roots so okay. Guess he tired of those California girls and decided he wanted some Southern Belles. Can’t lose either way.

  14. dragonlee29 says: Jun 2, 2012 8:34 PM

    Whether or not people agree with Tolbert about “The South” being a better place to live it is refreshing when athletes put something above the all mighty dollar.

  15. brassknuckles47 says: Jun 2, 2012 8:37 PM

    Maybe the writer isn’t plugged-in…….this was news 4 months ago! News, (as in Sports News) means N-E-W.

  16. raiderapologist says: Jun 2, 2012 8:44 PM

    Tolbert took less money because he didn’t want to play for the Chargers, but is too polite to say it directly.

  17. mrwillie says: Jun 2, 2012 8:50 PM

    Yeah, it’s an awesome place to raise a family if you don’t want your kids to have an education or be exposed to diversity.

    ———————

    Why is it then that Northerners are constantly moving to the south, yet no southerners are moving up north?

    As a proud southerner it actually delights most of us to hear that you do not want to move down here. There are enough transplants as it is. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you!

  18. Deb says: Jun 2, 2012 9:19 PM

    tfbuckfutter says:

    “I just think first of all the South is a better place to raise a family.”

    LOL.

    Yeah, it’s an awesome place to raise a family if you don’t want your kids to have an education or be exposed to diversity.

    I can’t even fathom how a black person would ever come BACK to the south. That makes as much sense as a gay person moving to….well, the south. Or a woman moving to…..well, the south. Or a latino moving to….well, the south….

    ————————————————-
    You are what you rant about: the small-minded bigot who stereotypes a large and diverse group of people with single petty stroke. But you’re too ignorant to grasp your own failing. As we say in the South … bless your heart.

  19. mullman7675 says: Jun 2, 2012 9:27 PM

    @randallflag52: As a 4th generation Californian, please tell your friends to stay home as well. It’s rare that people are actually FROM California these days, mostly transplants. That’s fine.

    It’s the land of fruits and nuts and sunshine and surf. Yeah, Cali sucks- STAY HOME.

  20. kevpft says: Jun 2, 2012 9:28 PM

    mrwillie says: Jun 2, 2012 8:50 PM

    Why is it then that Northerners are constantly moving to the south, yet no southerners are moving up north?

    =====

    I think you just made a point different than the point you were trying to make.

  21. elifan4life says: Jun 2, 2012 9:29 PM

    when he is done playing football and his daughter is in collage he is going to wish he never left that million dollars on the table,by that time it will probably cost a million dollars fora 4 year education!

  22. elifan4life says: Jun 2, 2012 9:31 PM

    mrwillie says: Jun 2, 2012 8:50 PM

    Why is it then that Northerners are constantly moving to the south, yet no southerners are moving up north?

    =====

    The weather my friend, if we had tropical weather all year long people would be moving up North too!!

  23. randallflagg52 says: Jun 2, 2012 9:44 PM

    @mullman7675

    You can’t expect me to take a state seriously that elected Conan the Barbarian as governor? Especially a state that is broke? It would probably be best for the entire world if California just broke off and sunk into the Pacific.

  24. t8ertot says: Jun 2, 2012 9:45 PM

    “I can’t even fathom how a black person would ever come BACK to the south”

    That statement might of had some merit after the civil war, not in 2012.

    Most black people that make up this country live in the south. And like someone said earlier, northerners move south all the time. Not the other way around. Beautiful places, smiling faces :)

  25. randallflagg52 says: Jun 2, 2012 9:51 PM

    @t8ertot Not to mention the best food in the country is found south of the Mason-Dixon.

  26. tebowslostvirginity says: Jun 2, 2012 9:58 PM

    The south will rise again?

  27. egomaniac247 says: Jun 2, 2012 10:04 PM

    To the idiot who said there was no “diversity” for Tolbert in the south, there are more African -Americans down here than anywhere else. Not to mention you can currently buy a $500K house right now for about $250k down here….sadly I know this last part from experience right now :)

  28. mediasloppy says: Jun 2, 2012 10:06 PM

    It all depends on where in the South and where in the North. If it’s for your kids you can’t go wrong…

  29. dusbrad says: Jun 2, 2012 10:16 PM

    I’m a realtor in San Diego and mike Tolbert just bought a million dollar house we had listed. Don’t know why he would do that if he was “raising his kids in the south”

  30. wishulivednsd says: Jun 2, 2012 10:51 PM

    Now if we could just get the other people here in San Diego to go back to the South.

  31. aircoryell says: Jun 2, 2012 10:57 PM

    Yes. Raise them in the south where they are likely to be fatter and less literate.

  32. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says: Jun 2, 2012 11:08 PM

    “I just think first of all the South is a better place to raise a family.”

    LOL.

    Yeah, it’s an awesome place to raise a family if you don’t want your kids to have an education or be exposed to diversity.

    I can’t even fathom how a black person would ever come BACK to the south. That makes as much sense as a gay person moving to….well, the south. Or a woman moving to…..well, the south. Or a latino moving to….well, the south….
    ************************************

    you are a moron. most people who come to the south end up staying bc they can get away from judgemental pricks like you, obnoxious yankees, and pedantic tree hugging hipsters who are too cool for deodorant. every person you just stereotyped lives happily and peacefully here in nc. get a life, there is a world beyond jersey shore, middle america and the west coast.

  33. tfbuckfutter says: Jun 3, 2012 12:10 AM

    someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says: Jun 2, 2012 11:08 PM
    you are a moron. most people who come to the south end up staying bc they can get away from judgemental pricks like you, obnoxious yankees, and pedantic tree hugging hipsters who are too cool for deodorant. every person you just stereotyped lives happily and peacefully here in nc. get a life, there is a world beyond jersey shore, middle america and the west coast.

    ————————————-

    Too. Much. Irony.

  34. 3000ft2glory says: Jun 3, 2012 12:15 AM

    Love all you folks trashing the South. There’s definitely a Napoleon complex with the northerners – probably the reason they all move down here. Since Tolbert grew up in the Carolinas, I’m pretty sure he knows better than ya’ll that the South is a fine place to raise a family.

  35. deertay says: Jun 3, 2012 12:22 AM

    I was shocked at how segregated Cali was when I visited. Not surprised by how much white trash lives in the rural areas out there.

  36. euroamericans says: Jun 3, 2012 12:23 AM

    “Go fcuk yourself San Diego”

  37. mullman7675 says: Jun 3, 2012 12:28 AM

    @randallflag52: No different than the entire country voting for Reagan(the original actor turned politician), twice.

    And I’m certain you were onboard with that.

    Conan was a bum, and if you haven’t noticed, California isn’t the only state that is hurting.

    Either way, I’m stoked I won’t be seeing you out here anytime soon.

  38. pbolyard says: Jun 3, 2012 1:29 AM

    Civil War ended quite a long time ago so stop arguing like little girls about north and south. Tolbert is an idiot for even saying the south is better place to raise a kid. There are a lot of great places for a family all over this country. Essentially he wanted to be close to home and that’s why he went to Carolina.

  39. joeygoesglobal says: Jun 3, 2012 1:35 AM

    @tfbuckfutter

    “be exposed to diversity.”

    and then you say…

    “I can’t even fathom how a black person would ever come BACK to the south. That makes as much sense as a gay person moving to….well, the south. Or a woman moving to…..well, the south. Or a latino moving to….well, the south….”

    ————————–

    You don’t realize the irony of your statements do you? Must be that northern education.

  40. johntonioholmes says: Jun 3, 2012 2:18 AM

    “Why is it then that Northerners are constantly moving to the south, yet no southerners are moving up north?”

    Honestly, it’s because the weather is nicer.

    Both northern and southern states have their problems, though; I don’t know why everyone is acting like either part of the country is a clear winner.

    I would say it’s a little absurd to assert that the south is better for raising a family, though.

    Like I said, both sides have their problems.

    Personally, if I was able to stand the weather (or the Patriots fans!) I would live in one of the New England States.

  41. lanjoith says: Jun 3, 2012 2:59 AM

    As a Charger fan I respect Mikes decision to move closer to home but you have to be high on peyote to think that the South is a better place to raise a family. My mom moved to Ringgold, GA for a couple years and I have never met so many closed minded bigots in my life. They still call black people “boy” and ” coloreds”

  42. theawkwardyears says: Jun 3, 2012 4:13 AM

    Why would you want to stay in a place with no income tax on the beach for more money when you can go live in a racist toilet for less?

    Goodell, screen this man for drugs please.

  43. vasteelerfan says: Jun 3, 2012 6:00 AM

    I have lived in both areas. Raised in the north and happily escaped to the south. Those elitetists are why I love it here. Lived in mass. Nj( ugh) and pa. Southerners are accepting and tolerant less likely to try to have an answer for everything. Southerners tend to listen before sticking their foot in their mouth. Finally I am glad so many think the south is bad we have too many know it all northern jerks as it is thank you and stay there!!!!!

  44. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says: Jun 3, 2012 7:35 AM

    yeah, why come to the carolinas? we just have 2 of the best hospitals and universities in the world, the ocean and mountains separated by a 7 hour drive, the lesbian capital of the world (asheville), hundreds of national parks, the best barbecue in the country (lexington), the most highly integrated schools in the country, the furniture capital of the world (high point), the youngest hockey team to ever win the stanley cup, incredible college basketball teams, the nascar hall of fame, national championship trophies at about every major university, and beautiful weather year-round. why would anyone come to the south?

  45. raenray2 says: Jun 3, 2012 10:14 AM

    My school was rated number one across the country for decades. It’s still in the top 3 and I’m over 30 now. Everyone will say they had the best schools and how there high school days were the best but I can say my school was the absolute best. By the way I grew up north in jersey so obviously the best schools are up north. That is of u want to learn something.lol. just kidding

  46. sd5547 says: Jun 3, 2012 10:17 AM

    Tolbert did not fit in the San Diego nightlife scene. He kept approaching women in bars and telling them “you sure have a pretty mouth”. I think this line only works in the south probably the reason he moved.

  47. johntonioholmes says: Jun 3, 2012 11:09 AM

    vasteelerfan

    There are elitists in the South too. My brothers works in the South and they are fighting tooth and nail to get back to the North because many people think that they are better than others because of their religion or the complexion of their skin.

  48. 3000ft2glory says: Jun 3, 2012 12:15 PM

    Northerners stereotyping Southerners for allegedly stereotyping black folks. *hypocritical*

  49. disgruntledlesbian says: Jun 3, 2012 2:31 PM

    Yeah I’m from Georgia too, and if someone was offering to pay me to live in California I’d be there in a heartbeat. Especially over north carolina.

  50. jgedgar70 says: Jun 6, 2012 9:13 AM

    Let me help some of you out…

    The region that is referred to as “the South” is bordered by the Mason-Dixon line (AKA the Pennsylvania-Maryland border), the Ohio River, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

    “Best place to raise a family” means different things to different people. The advantages to living here (the Charlotte area in particular) include mild winters, probably the lowest cost of living of any of the 30 largest US cities, fabulous food (even some that isn’t fried), easy access to beach and mountain getaways, and most people get along with people of different backgrounds (there are bigots and racists EVERYWHERE). There are drawbacks – the schools for your kids leave a lot to be desired, the local politics are steadily growing more liberal (at least to me that’s a drawback), and your commute is tricky; the drivers here are the rudest in the world – far, far more rude than the reputation of New Yorkers. Those that choose to live here have decided that advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

    So if Tolbert’s view is different than yours on where the best place to raise a family, fine. But at least respect him for thinking of his family over his wallet. It’s nice to see a pro athlete doing that for once.

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