As first reported by ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan and Mike Rodak, the Buffalo Bills have officially signed Mike Tolbert, formerly of the Carolina Panthers. Tolbert and the Bills have agreed on a one-year, $1 million contract per ESPN Panthers reporter David Newton. WKBW's Joe Buscaglia adds that the team has designated him as being a fullback and not a running back contrary to earlier reports.
Tolbert, 31, is entering his tenth season in the NFL. He spent his first four seasons with the San Diego Chargers, who signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Coastal Carolina, before spending the last five seasons with the Panthers wwoking with new Bills head coach Sean McDermott who was Carolina's defensuve coordinator.
Tolbert has never played an exceptionally large role in the run game over the years, and hasn’t carried more than 100 times in a year since 2013. His career highs of 735 yards and 11 touchdowns came back in 2010, but he has played in the Pro Bowl in three of the last four years and earned All-Pro designations in 2013 and 2015.
This deal is for the veteran minimum, so it’s no guarantee that Tolbert makes the final roster. He could, however, be insurance for short yardage situations in case some team is able to snatch restricted free agent Mike Gillislee away with a deal the Bills are unwilling to match.