Panthers, Mike Tolbert Discussing Extension

The Panthers have been talking with Mike Tolbert‘s agent about a new deal in advance of free agency, according to Rand Getlin of NFL Network (Twitter link). Tolbert is an unrestricted free agent, so his representatives can begin talking with other clubs tomorrow, and he can hit the open market on Wednesday.Mike Tolbert (Vertical)

[RELATED: Panthers release defensive end Charles Johnson]

A 2015 Pro Bowler, the 30-year-old Tolbert is coming off a four-year contract during which he made $2.5MM annually. He’s an excellent fit for Carolina’s run-based offense, and his ability to handle both running back and fullback makes him all the more valuable. As I wrote in my preview of the Panthers’ offseason, Tolbert seems likely to see a slight pay increase, though he probably won’t garner a four-year term again.

Tolbert isn’t the only Carolina free agent who is projected to hit the open market this week. Receiver Jerricho Cotchery, safety Roman Harper, cornerback Charles Tillman, and punter Brad Nortman are just a few of the players whom the Panthers may see sign with other clubs in the coming weeks. Carolina has almost $29MM in cap space to work with, which currently ranks 14th in the NFL.

For his part, Tolbert ranked as our No. 1 free agent fullback, though PFR’s Luke Adams did note that listing Tolbert among the available fullbacks did seem a little like cheating, given that the Panthers frequently use himĀ at running back as well.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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