The positional ping-pong that has been Joe Webb’s career will continue, in a new city.
Webb will be joining the Panthers as a quarterback. The team announced the move on Friday.
The Birmingham, Alabama native played quarterback in college. The Vikings made him a sixth-round pick in 2010 as a receiver, but promptly switched him to quarterback. His three years at the position included leading Minnesota to an upset win over the Eagles on a rare Tuesday night game in Philly. Webb’s run at quarterback culminated in an unexpected January 2013 playoff start that went poorly (thanks to a game plan that didn’t take advantage of his strengths). Last season, the Vikings moved him back to receiver for the final year of his contract.
With only five catches for 33 yards last season, Webb’s most notable moment came when he was on the receiving end of repeated taunts from Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman that were recorded by NFL Films microphones.
“You’re sorry,” Sherman said. “It’s a waste of my time. It’s a waste of my time. It’s a waste of time out here.”
And then later, “You suck. . . . That’s it? That’s it? You suck. You so weak. You a waste of my time.”
His arrival in Carolina comes days after starter Cam Newton underwent ankle surgery that is expected to keep him out up to four months. With Newton likely to miss the entire offseason program, Webb provides the team — at a minimum — a warm body who can take reps.
“Joe had a strong workout for us today,” coach Ron Rivera said. “He is a young player who intrigues us and has a similar skill set to Cam. With Cam sidelined for the spring, it is an opportunity to get a good evaluation of Joe as well as Matt Blanchard, who was on our practice squad last year.”
If the Panthers like what they see in Webb, he could give the Panthers a backup whose skills more closely match Newton’s than Derek Anderson, allowing a more seamless transition if Newton suffers an injury during the season. For now, though, Derek Anderson (yes, Derek Anderson) remains the primary backup to Newton.
And there’s nothing funny about that.