Once again today, Carolina Panthers fans were reminded that the NFL is a bottom line business.
Earlier today, the team released fan favorite Mike Tolbert. The Human Bowling Ball... The Tol-Dozer... The guy who broke out the Carlton dance after scoring touchdowns is done in Carolina.
The former Coastal Carolina star is certainly going to missed by everyone in Carolina from fans to his team mates and coaches. Even in the worst of times, he could make you smile and that is something needed in EVERY NFL locker room.
Character in the locker room is one thing. How much you make and how you are producing on the field is what this league boils down to. Even though he made the Pro Bowl last season, he statically had one of his worst seasons ever. He only had 35 carries for 114 yards and 0 rushing touchdowns.
Tolbert is also known as a great receiving running back but last season, he only had 10 catches for 72 yards and only 1 touchdown.
By cutting the All Pro fullback, the team now has $1.6 million added to their cap for free agency which starts on March 9th.
The team also cut defensive tackle Paul Soliai earlier today which also frees up $2.4 million to add to the cap.
Back to the Tol-Dozer... Hopefully he gets another chance to play in the NFL and I really think he will. Tolbert did make the Pro Bowl last season and there are a lot of teams looking for a veteran fullback to help their running attack, BUT at the right price.
One of those teams NOW includes the Carolina Panthers.
So add that to the list of things this team will be shopping for in free agency or looking for in the NFL Draft.
With the most salary cap flexibility he has ever had since coming to Carolina, the ball is now in the court of general manager Dave Gettleman. March 9th can't get here fast enough because I want to see how this plays out. There needs to be some impact signings this free agency period to keep this team trending in the right direction hopefully towards a World Championship.
No matter who this team signs or drafts, Tolbert will not be forgotten by most in that locker room, in the stands of Bank of America Stadium, or those who covered him in the media including myself.
Thanks for the 5 years of smiles and laughs Mike Tolbert.
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