Panthers release Pro-Bowl fullback Mike Tolbert

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Carolina Panthers on Tuesday released three-time Pro Bowl fullback Mike Tolbert, clearing $1,725,000 in salary cap space.

"I feel very fortunate to have coached Mike for almost his entire career", said head coach Ron Rivera, who coached Tolbert in San Diego from 2008-10 and in Carolina from 2012-16. "He brought great energy and leadership to our locker room and I wish him the best". He had one receiving touchdown. He led the Panthers with seven total touchdowns in 2013.

Soliai joins another former Dolphins defensive lineman, Jared Odrick, as a free agent, able to immediately sign with another team, after Odrick was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday.

Tolbert, 31, last offseason signed a two-year, $3.3 million deal with $700,000 guaranteed.

In nine National Football League seasons, Tolbert has played in 131 regular season games with 44 starts. Carolina will save over $1.7 million by releasing Tolbert.

The run stopper was brought to Carolina for depth purposes prior to the 2016 season but following the first-round draft choice of Vernon Butler and anticipated re-signings of Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short his role dissipated.

SB Nation's Panthers blog Cat Scratch Reader indicates that Tolbert had been on the decline when it came to his play on the field, and now Darrel Young and Devon Johnson will have their opportunities at fullback.

  • Julie Sanders