Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers free agents: Who’s staying, who’s going?

The Carolina Panthers us a fullback more than most teams, but whether Mike Tolbert (35) comes back will all boil down to money.
The Carolina Panthers us a fullback more than most teams, but whether Mike Tolbert (35) comes back will all boil down to money. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

A look at the Carolina Panthers’ free agents and their situations ahead of the opening of free agency on Wednesday:

Unrestricted free agents

QB Joe Webb: The Panthers don’t need three quarterbacks, but Webb fills a greater role than that. He plays all phases of special teams and is Carolina’s fifth receiver and emergency running back on gameday. Look for him to re-sign so long as another suitor doesn’t come with more money.

FB Mike Tolbert: His role was de-emphasized last season, but Carolina uses the fullback more than most NFL teams. Tolbert is a two-time All Pro, and both sides want the same thing. It’ll come down to money.

WR Jerricho Cotchery: The sure-handed veteran receiver dropped crucial passes in the Super Bowl. Carolina won’t hold that against him this offseason, but the Panthers will probably look to go younger in the receiving group.

C Fernando Velasco: The Panthers have tried right tackle Mike Remmers at center, and it’s a position they could target with a mid-round draft pick. Re-signing the 31-year-old isn’t a priority for Carolina.

G Chris Scott: Signed a one-year deal with the team earlier in the week.

G Amini Silatolu: The former second-rounder has versatility and talent, but he can’t stay healthy. He’s finished three of his four seasons on injured reserve and was inactive late in the season in a fourth year. Due to his injury history, he probably won’t cost much for Carolina to re-sign.

T Tyronne Green: Tore his Achilles early in the summer and not much was heard from him. He’s very low on Carolina’s priority list and it’s doubtful he returns.

DT Kyle Love: The Panthers’ future is in Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei, but the Panthers like their defensive tackle rotation with Love. Both sides remain in talks.

CB Josh Norman: Franchise tagged to the tune of $13.9 million but has not yet signed the franchise tender. He and the team have until July 15 to reach a long-term deal, and both sides are optimistic.

CB Charles Tillman: At 35 years old, Tillman has dealt with two triceps injuries and a torn ACL in the past three seasons. The Panthers appreciate his service and playing through injury last season, but bringing him back for a 14th season doesn’t seem like a Dave Gettleman move.

CB Cortland Finnegan: There’s still tread on his tires after the Panthers brought him out of semi-retirement last year. Carolina would love to have a veteran presence at nickel corner, which the Panthers currently don’t have, but it may not be Finnegan.

S Roman Harper: Carolina likes what it has in Tre Boston and Kurt Coleman but needs more. Harper means a great deal to the defensive backs in the locker room. All’s quiet on his front, and the Panthers might opt to free agency and the draft to fill his slot.

P Brad Nortman: Tough to imagine Carolina rolling into training camp with CFL specialist Swayze Waters as its only punter, but the Panthers grabbed him early in the offseason just in case. Nortman may want more money than the Panthers are willing to give since there are not many punters on the market.

LS J.J. Jansen: Signed a five-year, $5.5 million deal last month to remain with Carolina.

Restricted free agents

WR Stephen Hill: He was performing well until he blew out his knee in training camp. The Panthers think they have something with Hill, and he’ll probably be back.

T Mike Remmers: Yes, he got beaten by Von Miller twice in the Super Bowl on key plays. But Gettleman has pointed to their record (22-4) with Remmers at right tackle. He’ll be back.

DE Frank Alexander: Know the saying about being fooled twice? Well the Panthers have been fooled three times by Alexander and his failed drug tests. His time in Carolina is likely up.

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LB Ben Jacobs: Signed a one-year deal worth $675,000 last week.

Jonathan Jones: 704-358-5323, @jjones9

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