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March 25, 2008

Panthers sign guard Fonoti

The Carolina Panthers have signed free agent guard Toniu Fonoti, a former second-round draft choice who has been in and out of the league in recent seasons because of weight problems.

The Panthers hope Fonoti (6-foot-4, 350 pounds), can compete for playing time at guard.

San Diego picked him in the second round of the 2002 draft. He started 14 games for the Chargers as a rookie, then spent the next season on injured reserve. In 2004, he started 16 games as San Diego went 12-4. Sports Illustrated named him first team All-Pro.

After another injury and with his weight reportedly up to about 390, the Chargers traded him to Minnesota in 2005. He didn’t last with the Vikings. Atlanta signed him last March, but released him during training camp.


Posted by Observer Sports on March 25, 2008 at 06:15 PM | Permalink


Wow we are getting a guard with weight problems. hooray?, wow this should be interesting. He better be good and stay in shape!

Posted by: Beasons-A-Beast | Mar 25, 2008 6:33:19 PM

I would say that this makes it more likely that we will draft a DL player in the 1st round.

Posted by: Ryan H | Mar 25, 2008 6:36:07 PM

Thanks for the info. But he seems like busts. Do you know anything else about him. Does he at least have his weight under control? Is he in playing condition? Will he be reporting tomorrow for workouts?

Posted by: JayJ6 | Mar 25, 2008 6:39:06 PM

OK so we trade jenkins who the panthers complained was over weight alot during his career but sign a guard with the same habit? Go figure

Posted by: chad | Mar 25, 2008 6:47:36 PM

Interesting I must say I have been very! critical of panthers off-season moves or lack there of and I think fox and Hurney are idiots! when it comes to personal moves. but you know what I like this move! I really do the guy is still young and he has talent. He was named all-Pro just a few seasons ago. No one could get playing time on that Offensive line in Minnisota...so I dismiss that.....as for Atlanta....come on...that franchise is becoming almost as much of a joke as we are....when it comes to personal choices...(trading D-hall was retarded!) But the guy has talent he has youth..and MOST IMPORTANT he has SIZE!! I can deal with a Guard who's over weight rather than deal with one who's UNDER WEIGHT! (like Whale or Mathis) Sure he may have some problems pulling...but you won't have to worry about him getting blown! into the back field....like Mathis/whale/kalil do often. Good Job Furney!! and I never praise him for anything.

I think panthers have to do D-line in 1st rd since o-lineman are so deep and d-lineman are not! especially if Dorsey falls out the top 5....we almost have to trade up as I envision him as a all pro for a long long time.

Posted by: crboddie@hotmail.com | Mar 25, 2008 6:57:35 PM

That dude is massive. Search for pics. The wiki entry on him has this: He has been rumored to be one of the heaviest football players of all time.

Posted by: Ashe | Mar 25, 2008 6:58:15 PM

Now Maake has someone to go to the Buffet with.

Posted by: rhackney | Mar 25, 2008 7:11:39 PM

I heard that Jake D had a bionic arm installed rather than "Tommy John surgery", and Fonoti is actually an expert at bionic maintenance, so this was a splendid pick up. A+ Cats Brass.

Posted by: Oscar Catfan Goldman | Mar 25, 2008 7:16:40 PM

A weight problem - are you serious? That is NOT a problem. They do have top notch trainers they work with and besides - carrying around an extra 50 lbs. for a couple years should help with quickness and footwork. Not a bad pickup - dont expect too much though.

Posted by: James327 | Mar 25, 2008 7:30:52 PM

Chad, you are full of negativity and insults, aren't you. (notice that that senctence was ended with a period) What this means is the Panthers just signed a player that played at a high caliber level in the NFL at one point in his career, for a very low cost to the organization. If he pans out, than he is a steal... if he doesn't than next to nothing will be lost. But I'm sure someone with your great intelligence already knew that. Which brings me back to my original statement. You are just full of piss and vinegar, aren't you(.) BTW, cyber-bullying is illegal in NC. Do it again and I will have you reported.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Mar 25, 2008 7:45:56 PM

ESPN the Magazine writes...

Day-yamn! Look at the size of this guy’s friggin’ face. Sitting on a huge torso on the other side of the line is a melon that looks like it’s about to burst through the thin red bars that bind it. Gillenwater blinks away the disbelief, regains his composure and glares at the ball, watching for the snap. But when it comes, Gillenwater, a mere waif at 263 pounds, is lost before he can even react. A huge flash of red crashes into his chest like a fire truck, sending him flying from the line. And as Gillenwater lies on the turf, his senses scrambled, a deep menacing belly laugh draws him back to reality. Welcome to the world of Toniu Fonoti.
To his opponents, Nebraska’s 6'4", 363-pound guard doesn’t even appear human. He’s more like a rhino with a goatee. His head is as big as a beer keg; his calves are Virginia Hams. And the rhino part? Milt Tenopir, the Huskers’ crusty OL coach, has seen his linemen collect six of Nebraska’s record eight Outland Trophies, and says Toniu (ta-NOO) is the school’s best ever. “His level of intensity is overpowering,” says Tenopir.
As a sophomore last season, Fonoti set the school record with 155 pancake blocks, inspiring awestruck teammates to nickname him God. It’s a mark he’s already passed this fall. And if his 20 pancakes against Baylor on Oct. 13 and his 32 against Texas Tech a week later aren’t enough to re-circuit your brain, consider this:

Posted by: SYRPIS | Mar 25, 2008 8:25:20 PM

I would say this makes it more likely the Panthers will draft a RB in round 1........Choke on that.

Posted by: Stoker Ace | Mar 25, 2008 8:31:31 PM

theres been reports the panthers are gona hold a private workout with mendenhall, although it may just be a smoke screen to get other teams to trade up who cuvit him...nice move either way

Posted by: randy | Mar 25, 2008 8:51:07 PM

SYRPIS, you may be the most pathetic sissy boy loser I've ever seen post on a blog anywhere. Cyber bullying? Lay off the acid man, what the hell are you talking about? And what do you think it is you are doing by talking smack to that guy?

I have no doubt that you get your ass kicked regularly in the non-cyber real world.

Posted by: Harry Gonads | Mar 25, 2008 8:54:39 PM

I'm confused. How does signing a big fat, once good but no longer O-lineman that will likely get cut in camp (kenyatta walker) convince you all that we'll go D-line in the first round?
You think tubby here, who is a guard and not even a tackle, solves the OL problems?
Not understanding that...

Posted by: Bd | Mar 25, 2008 8:57:28 PM

why sign someone like that he better be good that all i got to say!

Posted by: paul | Mar 25, 2008 8:58:30 PM

I heard Toniu Fonoti went into a restaurant and ate everything in the restaurant and they had to close the restaurant.

Posted by: Ralph Wiggum | Mar 25, 2008 8:58:58 PM

Give a man a fish, and you will feed him for a day. Give a man anything that is better than a fish, and Toniu Fonoti will beat his ass and take it.

Posted by: Chuck Norris | Mar 25, 2008 9:28:23 PM

I like this pick up!!! Despite everyone thinking it's a waste of time and money, I definitely think it's worth the minimal risk. Worst-case scenario, we cut him. Best-case scenario, he returns to the form he once was. I've been watching Husker football my entire life, and trust me, this guy was a beast...and not for the crappy finesse teams of years present...he was a beast for the grind 'em out Huskers of old. If the Panthers are trying to reestablish the O-Line and emphasize the running game, Toniu Fonoti won't hurt a bit!!! Most people posting don't seem to know much about him, and I know he's been a bust for a couple of teams, but if he gets a fire lit under him and is inspired to play football, he truly is an All-Pro...so I ask you: isn't it worth a low salary and a roster spot going into camp?

Posted by: Panther fan from NU | Mar 25, 2008 11:53:09 PM

I absolutely agree. I am not a husker fan, but I do remember him consistently mauling defenses. He can provide a push to the line of scrimmage.

Posted by: Will Parker | Mar 26, 2008 12:09:40 AM

Harry Gonads, talk is cheap. And as cyber-bullying is concerned, why else would you be hiding behind an alias... or is it that you are the one that is the "sissy, blah blah blah" :)

Posted by: SYRPIS | Mar 26, 2008 12:51:18 AM

And as far as what previously transpired between C-H-A-D and I are is between him and I. Just for the record, as Rambo would say, he drew first blood. I was merely responding in a non-derogatory (ableit extremely cynical) way. But you are right, that is hypocritical and I wish to let by-gones be bygones. Regardless, cyber-bullying is illegal in many states, including North Carolina... FYI. Were I emotionally fragile/suicidal and offed myself because of Chad's or harry balls' comments, all three of you would be charged. I was just giving Chad a fair shake with a warning, because it is pretty obvious that not too many people are aware of that. Fact is, there are too many online tough guys in this world and too many unstable people that take online comments to heart. So you can thank them for this new legislation. Regardless, anyone who slanders or insults me or my reputation will be heald accountable, whether its coming from an immature wannabe or not. Just so you'll know, I've already reported one person, and will do it again. Ciao for now. :)

Posted by: SYRPIS | Mar 26, 2008 1:04:46 AM

*held responsible

Posted by: SYRPIS | Mar 26, 2008 1:06:20 AM


Posted by: SYRPIS | Mar 26, 2008 1:18:05 AM

Whatever man, you've got problems. So basically between what you just told us and what is on that link, you are saying you are a suicidal teenager? Perhaps you should seek treatment instead of spending time on blogs since you apparently aren't stable enough for this "bully environment" we've got here. I mean, you really don't contribute anything and just waste peoples time. I also would like you to show me where in this blog I was "bullying" you? This is the first time I've clicked on this blog and is my first post, and it sucks I even have to acknowledge you and type all this crap. You are delusional man, let it go and get some help.

Posted by: Chad | Mar 26, 2008 7:38:51 AM

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