The Carolina Panthers have agreed to terms on a four-year contract with free agent running back Mike Tolbert, Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network reports.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Undrafted out of Coastal Carolina in 2008, the 5-foot-10, 245-pound Tolbert has 341 carries for 1,410 yards and 20 touchdowns with 109 receptions for 1,012 yards and six touchdowns in 59 games over the last four seasons with the San Diego Chargers.
Over the last two seasons, Tolbert has 1,225 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground and is coming off a season where he caught a career-high 54 passes for 433 yards out of the backfield. The Chargers were interested in retaining Tolbert, but signed Le'Ron McClain instead, and the Kansas City Chiefs were also interested in signing him before they added Peyton Hillis.
Carolina spent big money to retain DeAngelo Williams last season and have Jonathan Stewart on the roster. Stewart is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is believed to be on the trading block.
The Panthers ranked 32nd in Football Outsiders' special teams DVOA in 2011, and that's an area where Tolbert could provide some help. Over the last three seasons, Tolbert has 42 special teams tackles and led the team in that category in two of the last three seasons.