Mike Tolbert to Panthers: Carolina Adds All-Purpose Running Back

T.J. McaloonContributorMarch 19, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 05:  Running back Mike Tolbert #35 of the San Diego Chargers reacts after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on December 5, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers added to their already deep backfield with the signing of free-agent running back Mike Tolbert to a four-year deal. 

The news of Tolbert to the Panthers broke from NFL.com's Jason La Canfora, who did not disclose how much the four-year deal is worth, saying: 

According to Scout.com, Tolbert had drawn interest from a number of other teams including the Kansas City Chiefs, the San Francisco 49ers and his former team the San Diego Chargers. However, the multipurpose back decided to sign with the Panthers. 

San Diego Chargers veteran free agent running back Mike Tolbert has joined the Carolina Panthers on a four-year contract, according to a league source.  

He visited the Panthers and also visited the Kansas City Chiefs, drawing interest from the San Francisco 49ers and also had an opportunity to remain with the Chargers 

A former undrafted free agent from Coastal Carolina, the stocky 5-foot-9, 243-pounder rushed for 490 yards and eight touchdowns last season while averaging four yards per carry. He also caught 54 passes for 433 yards and two touchdowns.  

In four NFL seasons, Tolbert has rushed for 1,410 yards and 20 touchdowns and caught 109 passes for 1,012 yards and six touchdowns.

Tolbert adds to a deep Panthers backfield that features two running backs that had over 140 carries last year. Plus, with quarterback Cam Newton’s ability to run, playing time for Tolbert could be hard to come by. 

However, in the end Tolbert felt as if Carolina was the best fit for him.