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March 17, 2012

RB Mike Tolbert visiting Panthers this weekend

Free agent running back Mike Tolbert is scheduled to visit the Panthers this weekend, a league source said Saturday.

Tolbert, 26, who played four seasons in San Diego, visited the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this week and also has drawn interest from San Francisco and Pittsburgh.

Joel Turner, Tolbert's agent, said Tolbert is visiting a team this weekend, but would not confirm it was the Panthers.

Signing Tolbert would create a crowded backfield for the Panthers and heighten speculation that DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart could be on the trading block.

Stewart would seem to be more attractive to interested teams because he is entering the final year of his contract and has a cap figure of just more than $3 million. Williams received a 5-year, $43 million extension last summer and will count $8.7 million against the cap this year.

Mike Goodson, the Panthers' No. 3 tailback, had a productive 2010 season before falling out of favor with Ron Rivera and his first-year staff last season.

Rivera and Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski came from San Diego and are familiar with Tolbert, who led the Chargers in 2010 with 735 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.

The 5-9, 243-pound Tolbert played behind 1,000-yard rusher Ryan Mathews last season, but was one of the Chargers' top special teams players. The Panthers are looking to upgrade their special teams after ranking near the bottom in most special teams categories in 2011.

Tolbert, a native of Douglasville, Ga., was undrafted coming out out Coastal Carolina in 2008.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on March 17, 2012 at 07:16 PM | Permalink


Trading Williams and making 28 the feature back would work. I don't like the thought of getting rid of Stewie at all tho. Don't know much about Tolbert. I like double trouble the way it is. Either one could get us into the 3rd rd this April and then some but I hope we stuck with what we have.

Posted by: Chuck Calfee | Mar 17, 2012 7:31:16 PM

Bring on Stanky Leg! I would love it, and I love Stew, but I think his heart is in the NothWest

Posted by: EFord | Mar 17, 2012 7:33:35 PM

Why are we considering trading either???
If Hurney does that Ihe should really be fired

Posted by: Bull123 | Mar 17, 2012 7:40:19 PM

Stewart has a late contract looming, it just doesn't make sense to pay two backs top ten money. Trading either one for a first day draft pick would be worth it if we also sign Tolbert. (and D-Will would clear a ton of cap room)

Posted by: Gb20 | Mar 17, 2012 7:45:51 PM

Getting rid of Stewart or Williams to sign Tolbert makes sense from a cap perspective.

We can't afford to pay two number 1 RBs anymore.

Posted by: noI'manotherguy | Mar 17, 2012 7:47:46 PM

There's also the fact that if this team is going to be a passing first team it doesn't need two number 1 RBs anyway.

Posted by: noI'manotherguy | Mar 17, 2012 7:48:38 PM

I like stew and d will i hope they dont lose either

Posted by: bob | Mar 17, 2012 7:53:06 PM

They can't afford to keep both D-Will and Stew once Stew's contact is up after this season. He would demand a contact similar to D-Will since their production is similar. That's not realistic to tie up that much money at that position. If anyone gets traded it will be Stew since we just extended D-Will.

Posted by: rcarlson85 | Mar 17, 2012 7:56:35 PM

If we can get a first round pick I'm for it. Two first rounders and a second would immediately help other areas of the team. And Tolbert would help me miss stew not as much.

Posted by: Zach | Mar 17, 2012 8:03:54 PM

We can afford to move one of them, remember Cam's running game too

Posted by: Steve | Mar 17, 2012 8:13:36 PM

This has the makings of a couple things. 1. The panthers are getting things ready just in case john fox comes calling for his runningback. If they get manning they are going. To be in win now mode and that would make more since than taking a rookie. 2. Bidding bewteen teams like cincinatti and cleveland could commence. I'm a huge double trouble fan but from a gms perspective you have to get more bang for your buck. Tolbert can run, catch, passblock and runblock along with block in special teams(helps returns). Neither of double trouble play special teams and barely get touches. We will get a new wr at some point because that's our gameplane but rbs will b committee with one standout. We will prob draft parris cotton or chris rainey to be the third back and kill he nfc.

Posted by: faulk | Mar 17, 2012 8:32:43 PM

Typing from phone excuse grammer and spelling grammer police

Posted by: faulk | Mar 17, 2012 8:35:20 PM

By the way imagine a combo of coples at nine wit say janoris jenkins/stephen hill/fletcher cox/cordy glenn/ingram at pick 22 if browns did trade that pick!

Posted by: faulk | Mar 17, 2012 8:39:51 PM

Hurney better NOT get rid of Stewart! He has shown time and again that he is the better overall RB between the two. He can pound, juke, overpower and move fast enough in the open field...plus he's younger! Williams has not been the same since his injury and is only a speed back with some jukes. I love having them both, but if you're gonna get rid of one of them then it has to be Williams. Goodson won't even be in the equation since he can't keep the ball off the carpet! For the record, I'm a big fan of all three of them in our backfield so I'm not hating on any of them.

Posted by: Reporter of the Obvious | Mar 17, 2012 9:05:40 PM

Our needs do not match our pick. Sign Tolbert, Trade RB (JStew or DWill) to Clevelands 22 or Cincy's 21 and trade back from 9 to late round 1 to get another late round 2 or early round 3 pick. We can use two late round 1s to pick Jenkins and Poe/Brockers/Still/Fletcher. Then we have a 2 and a 3 for a FS, G, WR, or LB because the draft is deep there and we have need.

Posted by: SupermanWears89 | Mar 17, 2012 9:49:30 PM

So can somebody tell me what this Bill Polian guy has against Gamble?

Wasn't Gamble top ten in just about every category for CBs last year?

I've been advocating getting rid of one of our RBs since about halfway through last year. Granted it got harder to say after they started producing again...Tolbert would be a good number 2 and be a lot cheaper than keeping Stewart and Williams both.

Posted by: noI'manotherguy | Mar 17, 2012 10:13:03 PM

Another Charger? what the heck rivera

Posted by: TJ | Mar 17, 2012 10:40:45 PM

Trade DWill or JStew....you all are all crazy...Careful what you wish for. Keep them together. Who says you cant pay? Hurney stated that he would make sure Cam had weapons each year out to make sure he stays and keep other teams from away. Do not take one of his weapons away in Double Trouble. They have been here and knows what to expect. Do not bring in a guy that it will take time to adjust to the team and offense when you have guys, better guys to do the job. I know he is a stout back, special teamer, and played in this similar offense. Just add him dont subtract. Not lest if it is before the trade deadline when all are playing out of their minds...Crazy talking about trading one of our star backs....

Posted by: BofA Fan | Mar 17, 2012 10:47:33 PM

It makes zero sense to pay top ten money to two RBs in today's NFL, especially if you run a pass first offense.

You can't simply say "they're both good and should both stay regardless of the price". By paying top 10 money to two RB's, you end up with massive holes somewhere more important.

RB is a low priority position, and no-name RBs have great years all the time.

Makes much more sense to deal one for late 1st-mid 2nd rounder and be able to snag three players in the first two rounds than to try and keep them both for years on end while running a pass first offense with a defense that couldn't stop an FCS team from scoring on the other side of the field.

Posted by: noI'manotherguy | Mar 17, 2012 11:10:44 PM

we need a goal line rb o but i guess i qb will be goal line back

Posted by: dae | Mar 18, 2012 12:44:37 AM

Jonathan Stweart plays with a passion and ferocity that DeAneglo cannot. Cam LOVED Stew in the passing game. KEEP STEW.

Posted by: Al | Mar 18, 2012 1:28:09 AM

Where on earth did my last post go? I really hope I don't end up posting this mega-rant twice.

Anyway, right now the team has massive holes at DT, LG, RT, WR 2, CB2, and FS.
Assuming that maybe two of the guys currently filling those spots work out, with maybe one more being a decent starter..we'd still have three holes, with one more position that could stand to be upgraded.

Is it really worth creating three-five holes so that we can keep two runningbacks making top ten money?

If Stewart isn't traded, he'll be gone next year anyway because we can't afford to pay two RBs that much money in a pass first offense. Last year Stewart only had 16 more carries than Cam, why should we pay somebody 3.5 million dollars to be a role player when he's talented enough to start somewhere else and can land a high to mid 2nd rounder(asking for anything more than a late 1st for a RB is a pipe dream) could give us three picks in the first two ronds, and maybe three picks in the first 50 players. That's huge, and much more important than keeping two runningbacks.

Tolbert is more than capable of taking Stewart's 126 carries last year. And no, simply running the ball more isn't an option. Would you really want to take touches away from Cam Newton?

Just like Wharton, we ideally wouldn't have to get rid of Stewart, but the contract is too much for what the team is asking of him.

I would say they try and trade a back even if Tolbert signs elsewhere as a runningback capable of taking 150 or so carries as a number 2 is easy to find.

Stewart is a very good back, and if this were still a John Fox team keeping him might make sense. Unfortunately this team is built to pass the ball, and the number 2 RB is a role player. Tolbert isn't Stewart, but he's still good enough to start on most teams, and is a good reciever out of the backfield without Goodson's fumbling issues, and he's a good goalline option.

I recognize the love for Stewart, because he's been an important part of this team, but I really think this is a move that makes a lot of sense.

Posted by: noI'manotherguy | Mar 18, 2012 2:09:44 AM

I think trading Stewart is actually a smart move if we bring in Tolbert. Tolbert can also play H-Back, fullback & special teams. I love Stewart but I don't love the idea of paying 2 RBs big money. Selling high on Stewart could add more help on D which is what we need.

Posted by: Mtnh2o | Mar 18, 2012 11:04:50 AM

What the frack ? I just bought my #34 jersey !

Posted by: nasty704 | Mar 18, 2012 2:31:54 PM

@anybody but carolina and @ Cincy Bengal

Thanks for your posts, it's always nice to get a reminder of how much smarter I am than some people. Your posts perfectly display your stupidity.

Posted by: Kenny | Mar 18, 2012 9:10:03 PM

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