Mike Tolbert has played a lot of roles during his four seasons with the Carolina Panthers – blocking back, pass-catcher out of the backfield and resident dancer.
One role Tolbert didn’t want to assume Tuesday was that of general manager. Tolbert, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in March, was asked whether he’d be back in Charlotte next season.
“Do I want to be? Yeah. Do they want me is the question,” Tolbert said. “I can’t sign a contract by myself. It remains to be seen.”
Tolbert has been selected to the Pro Bowl in two of his four seasons with the Panthers. He rushed 62 times for 256 yards and a touchdown this season, and caught 18 passes for 154 yards and three scores.
Tolbert had two first-half fumbles against Denver in Super Bowl 50, and he recovered the first one himself. Broncos safety Darian Stewart jarred the ball loose on Tolbert’s second fumble, which came at the end of an 11-yard run that would have taken the Panthers into Denver territory.
“(Stewart) put his helmet right on my forearm and popped it (out),” Tolbert said. “That’s part of it. It happens.”
Tolbert, 30, believes he can play another four to five years “at a high All-Pro level.”