Panthers sign Mike Tolbert

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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.

58 responses to “Panthers sign Mike Tolbert

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Panthers in 2012!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    It’s going to be a long season.

  20. 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.

  21. “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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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*

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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

  28. 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.


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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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!!!

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