Mike Tolbert Released by Carolina Panthers
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The Carolina Panthers released veteran fullback Mike Tolbert on Tuesday after five seasons with the franchise.I feel very fortunate to have coached Mike for nearly his entire career, head coach Ron Riverasaid in a statement. He was someone we targeted in 2012 because we felt he would be a good addition to our offense and he was very productive for us. He brought great energy and leadership to our locker room and I wish him the best.Tolbert, 31, rushed for 114 yards on 35 carries in 2016. He appeared in all 16 games but saw his smallest workload since coming to the Panthers in 2012.The Panthers currently have two other fullbacks,Darrel YoungandDevon Johnson, on their roster. It’s likely they will compete in camp for the spot formerly occupied by Tolbert. Johnson was an undrafted free agent who spent 2016 on injured reserve, while Young was out of football last season after failing to latch on with the Chicago Bears.A longtime veteran with Washington, Young signed with the Panthers on a reserve/future contract in January.Tolbert was scheduled to make $1.1 million in base salary during the 2017 season. Cutting him now saves the Panthers $1.725 million in cap space, perOver the Cap. With less emphasis being placed on the fullback position than ever before, Carolina likely views that (relatively small) cap number as money that can be better spent elsewhere.Tolbert spent his first four seasons with the San Diego Chargers.
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