The Carolina Panthers’ website announced the release of Pro-Bowl fullback Mike Tolbert on Tuesday afternoon.
The announcement came shortly after the agent of defensive tackle Paul Soliai tweeted that Soliai would be released just one year into his two-year, $7 million deal signed last offseason.
Tolbert spent five seasons with the Panthers and was named to the Pro Bowl three times, including in 2017.
“I feel very fortunate to have coached Mike for nearly his entire career,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera told the team website. “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’s release will save the Panthers an estimated $1.7 million in salary cap space, a comparitively small amount to an approximate $50 million the team has to work with this offseason. He had one year left on his contract.
The decision to release him might have been based on Tolbert’s performance and infrequency of use in recent seasons. He had 35 carries and 114 yards in 2016 with no touchdowns, 256 yards on 62 carries in 2015 with one touchdown in 2015, and 78 yards on 37 carries in 2014 with no touchdowns.