The Panthers just signed Mike Tolbert to a four-year deal. What team do you think will trade for Jonathan Stewart (DeAngelo Williams signed an awful megadeal last offseason)?
Stewart quietly was very impressive last season.
The Panthers OL was awful at run-blocking for some reason and he had to split time with Williams.
But he was every bit of the back that we all expected him to be last season in terms of power and breaking tackles.
And he far exceeded expectations as a third-down back in terms of receiving and especially as a pass protector. He CLEARLY worked very hard at that and actually turned into one of the best 3DBs in the league.
This move is curious because you traditionally don't trade a guy that valuable, coming off a career year, who has clearly worked hard to develop his game by working on his blocking and receiving.
Maybe he requested a trade? And now the Panthers signed Tolbert so they can follow through? That makes more sense than just trading your 3rd best offensive player. Maybe he wanted a shot to be a 3-down featured back and didn't like DWill's presence? That makes sense.
Or maybe the Panthers really just want three RBs that need the ball. Hm.
Just checked his stats.
He averaged 5.4 yards per carry, had 47 receptions, didn't lose a fumble, and scored 5 touchdowns despite Newton also scoring a million rushing TDs and Williams taking his carries.
Again, he was CLEARLY better than Williams and played 3rd downs over him.
And he's 24 years old. The injury history is concerning, but he's 100% healthy now coming off a healthy year AND he doesn't have as much wear-and-tear on his wheels because he missed so much time.
The more I think about it, the more I think this is an extremely curious move by Carolina and one that some team is going to be VERY happy to take advantage of.
Stewart will be a VERY significant acquisition for someone. Pick #25 might not even be too high for John Fox. I'd expect a bunch of teams to make offers...
He's valuable. But how valuable?
And any chance they keep all three? Mike Goodson had 0 touches last year as the third back...
Or maybe they can somehow get out of DWill's deal....?
But if they do indeed trade Stewart... where!?