First things first: Captain Munnerlyn is a Carolina Panther again.
Second things second: It wasn’t that Charles Johnson.
The receiver the Carolina Panthers signed on Friday, Johnson (a former Minnesota Viking), almost made it through a very pleasant press conference in which he introduced himself politely, talked about his work ethic, and his good buddy and former teammate Munnerlyn.
That would be the former Panthers cornerback, whose wedding Johnson attended last year in Charlotte.
Oh, and the guy Johnson just saw upstairs.
Wait a second.
“Me and him are really cool, I actually was talking to him upstairs, I did an event with him a couple weeks ago. So me and him are really cool, really tight,” Johnson grinned, unaware of what he had just revealed.
You saw him where?
“Where’d I see him? At his wedding here?” Johnson offered, still unaware.
You said something about “upstairs?”
“Oh yeah,” said Johnson, shrugging, genuinely hoping to be helpful. “I saw him upstairs too.”
The silence in the room thickened.
“I think. ...” Johnson faltered, then realized what had happened - “Oh, man,” he sighed - then was ushered out.
It was truly the only fitting way to begin to wrap up a Friday filled with free agency-flurry in the Carolina Panthers front office.
After reports confirmed the agreement with left tackle Matt Kalil (brother of center Ryan) and the courting of receiver Russell Shepard on Thursday, the Panthers announced that they would bring back veteran defensive end (and legendary Panther) Julius Peppers.
Then, they announced the official signings of veteran safety Mike Adams, Shepard and Johnson, and finally, terms for Munnerlyn – the sought-after veteran and much-loved longtime Panther – were reported to be agreed upon by national NFL reporter Ian Rapoport less than 20 minutes after Johnson’s slip-up.
The Observer was able to confirm Munnerlyn’s agreement in principle moments later. National NFL reporter Peter Schrager reported that it was a 4-year deal.
First things third: Captain Munnerlyn is a Panther again.